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The Nigeria Army says it has nothing to do with a proposed solidarity rally being organised by some civil groups to celebrate the “successes” being achieved over Boko Haram in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in North East Nigeria.
The Army said though the initiative could be borne out of sheer patriotism, the show of solidarity could be dangerous as it is capable of distracting the soldiers and the Army authority.
It thereby advised the group to be cautious with the plan.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said in a statement that the public should rather remain more vigilant at this crucial stage of the battle.
His statement reads:
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a number of groups and individuals celebrating the routing out and decimation of Boko Haram terrorists on our soil. So much as we thank them for that, it is imperative to state that we do not begrudge such persons (and) their desire to identify and associate themselves with this success.
“However, the Nigerian Army wishes to disassociate itself from such celebrations and solidarity rallies.
“We also would like to advice that they should tread with caution as this could be distractive to us. The public are please informed that the terrorists are surreptitiously fanning out of their last enclaves in Sambisa to cause havoc or seek refuge elsewhere.
“Therefore, there is need for all to be more vigilant and security conscious to enable us clear the remnants of these terrorists wherever they might flee.
“We would like to reassure the public that we will remain professional and focused in clearing the remnants of these criminals on the Nigerian soil.”
A group that identified itself as North East Coalition Against Terrorism (NECAT) had recently disclosed that it has concluded plans to hold a solidarity march in support of the soldiers .
The National Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Mshelizza, had written a letter, dated Wednesday, April 20, 2016, to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff, stating their resolve to hold a solidaity march in appreciation to the government and the Nigerian Army for returning peace to North Eastern States.
“We will forever appreciate the Nigerian Army; we lost almost everything including our homes, properties and lives due to the incessant killings and destruction of properties by Boko Haram insurgents in the last few years,” Mr. Mshelizza said.