The military high command has said the trending video of the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, was a calculated attempt to paint the military black.
In the video, the lawmaker representing Doguwa/Tudunwada Federal Constituency in Kano State was seen handling and firing an AK 47 with the guidance of military personnel.
The PUNCH reports Doguwa was arrested for his alleged involvement in the killing of several persons and burning of the Secretariat of the New Nigeria People’s Party in the just concluded general.
He was subsequently arraigned in court and had been admitted to bail on the matter.
In a statement on Friday night by the Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Guasu, though did not deny the incident happened but said the video was not recent.
He added that the lawmaker was a special guest at the 3 Brigade Nigerian Army Training Exercise.
The statement partly read, “The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to a viral video circulating on Social Media platforms.
The Defence Headquarters wishes to state that the video is a calculated attempt by mischief makers to discredit the Armed Forces of Nigeria and dent its image before the good people of this country and the world at large.
The video in question was taken at Falgore Forest Military Training Camp during the 3 Brigade Nigerian Army Training Exercise where Doguwa was invited as a special guest.”
He said such practice was not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that the event did not make such guests trained gunners.
“It is worthy to state that when senior citizens and Special guests are invited for such exercises, they are accorded the honour to participate in the firing exercise as a ceremonial firing party without any intention of making them trained gunners or to master the use of firearms.
Ceremonial firing in such an exercise is a practice in the world over and is not new in the Armed Forces of Nigeria as several other senior citizens have participated in such exercises in the past.
However, the viral video of Doguwa was posted with the intent to dent the image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, especially at this period when the role of the Armed Forces in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections was hailed by Nigerians and the International community.”
Gusau also lamented that the speech made by Doguwa at the event was also manipulated.
He said,” In addition, some clerics have equally released audio clips containing wrong interpretations of the speech the Majority Leader made at the occasion. This doctored interpretation of the speech is capable of instigating a crisis, thus leading to heightened tension as the country prepares for a smooth transition to another elected government.”
He pledged that the military would never train anyone to pick arms against law-abiding citizens.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to assure Nigerians that on no occasion would the Armed Forces of Nigeria engage in training or arming any individual or group of persons to take up arms against law-abiding citizens,” Gusau said.