By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), has condemned the recent demotion of the Theatre Commander of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, General Olusegun Adeniyi, by a rank.
The forum also lamented the jailing of his assistant for 28 days with hard labour.
Adeniyi, who once led the onslaught against Boko Haram, was said to have been found guilty of violating some sections of the rules of engagement.
Yinka Odumakin, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Senator Bassey Henshaw and Dr. Isuwa Dogo of South-West, South-East, South-South and Middle Belt respectively in a statement, the forum wondered why the same treatment could be given to the officer in question like his northern Muslim officers, who were accused of giving out the routes of soldiers who were brutally murdered over two years ago, to Boko Haram.
The forum noted that Adeniyi’s ordeal started with his complaints about those who sent him to lead troops to go and fight Boko Haram with bare knuckles.
The forum observed that the troops, under the gallant General, won so many awards and commendations for his command of Lafiya Dole, but have now lost so many troops in combat, recently, raising questions on what happened to the last $1 billion released for Armed Forces to buy weapons.
It explained that Section 15 (g) of the policy specifically forbids personnel from posting any video, audio, materials pictures during exercises/operations.
The statement explained that the court-martial found the Maj. Gen. guilty of producing and publicizing a video on the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East in a manner that embarrassed and ridiculed the armed forces of Nigeria.
It stated that he was demoted by at least three years, adding that his orderly, Tokunbo Obanla, a private, was also found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labour.
The statement also observed that the Nigerian Army had in July ordered Gen. Adeniyi to face court-martial, four months after he was seen in a rare video confessing that Nigerian troops were being outgunned by Boko Haram terrorists.
It added that Gen. Adeniyi was leading a large troop of soldiers on a special operation when they came under heavy attacks by Boko Haram.
It explained that the Commander was seen in two of four video clips giving a recorded situation report to the Chief of Army.
The statement said that he blamed the deadly attack his troops suffered on very wrong intelligence assessment earlier conducted before they were deployed.
It said that it may be said that the Army is only enforcing its rule, why was the rule muted against northern -Muslim officers who were accused of giving out the routes of our soldiers who were brutally murdered over two years ago to Boko Haram.
The statement asked what has the Air Force done till date over the controversial killing of Tolulope Arotile in Kaduna last year, an officer renowned for deadly exploits against Boko Haram?
It observed that it is an officer it commended for conducting a good fight against Boko Haram who is being promptly court-martialled because he says he now lacks weapons.