Army Denies Alleged Attempt To Seize Osun Community Land
Written by Teniola Akerele on August 30, 2023
The Nigerian Army has denied an attempt to seize land in Osun State over a proposed community intervention project.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Re: Complaints of Orolu Community, of Orolu LGA over Alleged Proposed Community Intervention Project by the Nigerian Army’ on Tuesday night.
It said, “The Nigerian Army has been notified of malicious allegations reportedly peddled in a press statement by one Chief Babatunde Oyetunji, Eesa of Ifon in which he levelled allegations that the Nigerian Army has decided to forcefully acquire land for a proposed project in Orolu Community of Orolu Local Govt of Osun State.
“Without mincing words, the Army wishes to clarify, that the report is entirely false, malicious and an effort by some vested interests to tarnish the good reputation of the Chief of Army Staff and drag the name of the institution in the mud.
“The fact of the matter is that one of the lines of operations of the Army in tackling security challenges in the country is the None kinetic line of operations; a soft approach, aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the public through the instrumentality of Civil-Military Cooperation activities or programmes of the Nigerian Army.
“This effort is fundamentally geared towards fostering cooperation and galvanising support of the civil populace for NA’s diverse operations to mitigate security challenges across the country.
“Hence, the Army usually executes special community intervention projects, such as hospitals, boreholes, and electrification amongst others based on needs assessment, after consultations with the leadership of such communities, at the behest of senior officers, who hail from the benefiting community.
“In this particular case, a retired senior officer conceptualised an intervention project; a medical centre in Osun state, which has not even been formally forwarded to the Chief of Army Staff for approval, since the Department of Civil-Military Affairs at the Army Headquarters is yet to receive requisite information to enable it to initiate a comprehensive proposal for the project.
“Apparently, the Army would not have in any way known which land belongs to, since it is not yet involved in the process.
The Army reiterated that only if the request of a retired senior officer is forwarded to the Chief of Army Staff and is approved, that is when they can carry out due diligence on the project site while carrying along relevant stakeholders.
“Surprisingly, if the said project for which the COAS and the Army are being maligned sails through and is approved, it is a project that will benefit the civil populace and serve humanity, irrespective of community affiliation.
“The Nigerian Army hereby absolves itself of any involvement in an attempt to confiscate any community land.”