The Nigerian Army, on Thursday said it has no plan to launch attack on any country as was reported by Premium Times, an online news medium earlier in the day, where it wrote that the country was already raising troops to forcefully remove embattled The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh.
This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday, January 13, 2017, travel to Banjul, capital of The Gambia, where as Mediator, he is scheduled to meet with President Jammeh and the country’s President-elect Adama Barrow in continuation of the dialogue on the political situation in the West African country.
The Nigerian Army, while dissociating itself from any such report “that exists only in the figment of the imagination of the medium,” which it described as false, in a statement by Brigadier-General Sani Kukasheka Usman, its Director of Public Relations, said “there was no time or place Nigerian Army disclosed such information to the medium.”
It therefore challenged management of the medium “to name the officer or soldier that gave them such information and when,” reiterating “for the avoidance of doubt (that) Nigerian Army is not planning to attack any country.”
While insisting that the report is false in its entirety, unethical, reckless and unprofessional, Usman said “it is inimical to national security,” besides being capable of endangering the lives of Nigerians in diaspora.
“The medium is please requested to always clarify such matters affecting national security and diplomatic issues that may endanger the safety and security of Nigerians abroad to avoid such misleading and embarrassing publication.”
Also in Banjul, President Buhari would be joined by Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, his counterpart from Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government; President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-meditator of The Gambian mission.
Later on January 13, President Buhari will travel to Bamako, Mali to participate in the 27th Africa–France Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, convened by French President Francois Hollande, which according to Femi Adesina, Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, “is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in the areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development.”
Recognising the role played by France in the successes so far recorded in the implementation of the regional initiative against terrorism, President Buhari, the statement added, will reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.
He is expected to use the opportunity to underscore the efforts his government is making to improve Nigeria’s business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.
The President, the statement continued, will be accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence.