Afenifere, Ohanaeze fault Army for absorbing 400 civilian JTF members

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Leading sociocultural groups, Afenifere and Ohanaeze have faulted the Nigerian Army’s decision to absorb 400 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Borno State into the Army.

The absorbed CJTF members had been assisting the Army in counterinsurgency operations in the state.

Mostly hunters, they  are being enlisted into the Nigerian Army’s super camp strategy in Borno State, the worst hit by the insurgency.

Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who commissioned the men in the presence of Chief of Army State, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said they were the first batch to be absorbed into the military.

He noted that other batches would soon be enlisted into the Army.

Reacting to the exercise, Yoruba sociocultural organisation, Afenifere said the manner in which the CJTF members were enlisted amounted to promoting regionalism in the army.

Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin said, “There is no other name to call this than regionalisation of the Army for a section of the country without necessarily saying so. The rest of the country is not daft about what is going on. There is no way you can build confidence in national institutions when you continue to paint them in sectional colours. And these are the same people, who said the South-West could not do Amotekun a few months ago.

“Borno is afflicted with crisis the way other sections are and we cannot turn our supposed national Army into the outfit of a section of it in addition to the sectionalism and parochialism of this regime in the last five years.”

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Similarly, Igbo apex sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo warned the Army’s action violated the federal character principle operational in Nigeria.

The President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Attamah said, “It is a clear vindication of those, who hold the view that a situation where civilians are now conscripted into the Army to fight Boko Haram is a big shame to Nigeria.

“It runs against the spirit of the federal character principle, which ensures equity in national employment. Can this be replicated in other parts of the country?

“Who has guaranteed the integrity of the people absorbed into the Army? Who is sure they are not even sympathetic to the Boko Haram cause?”

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