The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned Nigerians against spreading falsehood with regards to security challenges in Mangu area of Plateau State.
The warning is contained in a statement by the Acting Director Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tulur Gusau, on Thursday in Abuja.
Gusau warned that anyone caught maliciously disparaging the military would be dealt with in accordance with the law, no matter his status in the society.
The defence spokesman dismissed claims of bias levelled against troops involved in restoring peace in Mangu by the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mangu Chapter, Rev. Timothy Daluk.
He said Daluk’s claims were baseless, malicious and lack any reasonable foundation.
“It is deeply disturbing that a religious leader, who is expected to demonstrate high level of moral judgement and truthfulness, has resorted to spreading falsehoods about the military and its personnel.
“We want to reiterate that the military remains neutral, focused, professional and committed to its constitutional role of protecting the lives and property of law-abiding citizens.
“We will deal with anybody found disobeying the law, without bias or prejudice.
“We, therefore, call upon the public to support the ongoing military operations aimed at decimating non-state actors operating in these troubled areas of the State.
“We will not be distracted by baseless accusations and remain steadfast in our commitment to restoring peace and security.
“We strongly caution individuals involved in making malicious comments against the military to cease from such acts.
“Henceforth, any person found spreading falsehoods will face constitutional redress, regardless of their status in society,” he said.
Gusau appreciated law-abiding citizens for their support and cooperation and assured the public of the unwavering dedication of the military to preserving peace and security in the country.
He recalled that there was a breach of security in the Mangu municipal area on January 23, resulting in the Government of Plateau declaring a 24-hour curfew.
According to him, troops of Operation Safe Haven were reinforced in Mangu to enforce the curfew and bring the situation under control, thereby preventing its spread to other areas.
“The troops have carried out their duties professionally and in accordance with the rules of engagement.