The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State has described as falsehood a report that some of its recently deployed soldiers molested some women in Ogoniland.
Denying the purported molestation, as reported by some online media, Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said it was totally mischievous and false.
The Army image-maker, in a statement made available to TribuneOnline, also attributed the publication to some cultists and other criminal elements who he said were out to instigate a call for the withdrawal of troops from the area.
“The publication is at best a failed and unsubstantiated attempt by some cultists and other criminal elements in ogoniland at crying wolf where there is actually none.”
“Simply put, this baseless story is a calculated but failed attempt by some heartless and violent criminal cult groups in ogoniland, who are definitely behind it, to distract and possibly cause or ginger a call for the withdrawal of the troops. The military deployment and operational duties such as patrols have served to effectively checkmate and deny criminals’ freedom of action,n thereby assisting in restoring peace and security to the troubled area in aid of the civil authority,” he said.
Iliyasu recalled that, due to the incessant cult killings in Ogoniland, a stakeholders’ meeting was convened on 6 March 2017 with all the stakeholders including paramount rulers and security agencies.
“Part of the solution by the community leaders was the restriction of movement of everyone between 7:00pm to 6:00am, which is the period when these criminal cult groups perpetrate their nefarious activities and unleash terror on innocent citizens.”
“This decision has definitely not gone down well with enemies of the Ogoni people, hence their resort to blackmailing the troops with a false story line, which they shamelessly tried to buttress with old pictures of women with placards.”
“This is their not minding the fact that the messages on the placards are not related to the claim of molestation of women as portrayed in their false story,” the statement read.
He warned all enemies of Ogoni to change their course or face the wrath of the law, and reassured the people of their safety and security, advising them to go about their legitimate endeavours without any fear of intimidation or molestation.”