By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The 1 Division Nigerian Army has given the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a seven-day ultimatum to issue a retraction if a statement issued, where it accused the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Major General Mohammed Mohammed of aiding rigging of the local council polls in the state on May 13, 2018.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Muhammad Dole issued on Saturday May 19, warned that failure to retract the statement would attract legal actions.
” In view of the foregoing, Headquarters, 1 Division NA requests the immediate retraction of this allegation with apology to our gallant officers and men who are daily paying supreme sacrifice to ensure peaceful atmosphere in Kaduna State.
“The perpetrators should issue retraction of this unfounded allegation on or before Saturday 26 May 2018. Otherwise, an appropriate legal action will be taken against them,” it stated
It explained that its attention was drawn to the statement issued by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Kaduna State Chapter, alleging the involvement of the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Major General M Mohammed in the recently concluded Local Councils elections in Kaduna State.
” It is observed with dismay that stalwarts of either political party faction or an opposition party are resorting to desperate blackmail and outright falsehood with intent to drag the military into party politics. Previously it was false allegation of demolition of a party Secretariat and now direct involvement of the GOC.
“This allegation is totally baseless and irresponsibly conceived with ill motive of tarnishing the image and personality of the GOC.
“The fact of the matter is that, on Friday 11 May 2018, General Mohammed was dutifully engaged in Kano, where he attended the burial rites of the late Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu and turbaning ceremony of Liuetenant General Abdulrahman Danbazau (rtd) (Minister of Interior) as BARADEN KANO.
“On Saturday 12 May 2018, General Mohammed accompanied the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Liuetenant General TY Buratai to pay condolence visit to the families of late Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu in Kano and thereafter visited Depot NA in Zaria before returnimg to Kaduna in the evening after the conduct of the local Councils elections,” it explained.
The statement pointed out that the military personnel are conscious of their roles in the conduct of any election exercise and strictly abide by the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct on elections exercise.
“Likewise, military hierarchy always emphasises apolitical stance of its troops in all the occasions.
“The perpetrators of this falsehood are expected to back up their allegations with pictorial views or visual evidence of the scenes of the event to prove the involvement of the GOC or troops of the 1 Division NA in any part of Kaduna State,” it said.
The Army advised the general public to disregard the publication in its entirety and regard the perpetrators as mischief makers and enemies of progress who are bent on pitching the military against the peace loving people of Kaduna State