Army to meet Methodist Prelate for linking soldiers with kidnapping

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The Nigerian Army has said it will approach the Methodist Prelate Samuel Kanu-Uche to know why he linked soldiers to his kidnapping.

His Eminence Kanu-Uche, his chaplain and a bishop were kidnapped at the weekend and released 24 hours later after paying N100m ransom.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after his release, the Prelate had said, “Military personnel are aiding the kidnappers who disguise as herders in the daytime but are kidnappers at night.”

The army took exception to the comment.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said the Army would meet with the Prelate to know more about the circumstances surrounding his abduction.

Nwachukwu said, “The insinuation that troops are complicit in the kidnap incident is not entirely premised on any findings of investigations and, therefore, cannot be swallowed hook line and sinker.

“This allegation, therefore, raises some pertinent questions which are still unanswered.

“Given our professional disposition and zero tolerance for any misconduct in the Nigerian Army, we will take this weighty allegation seriously and approach the Prelate and the Methodist Church to unravel the basis for the allegation.”

Nwachukwu explained that given the spate of insecurity in the Southeast, the question to ask is: “Was the issue reported to the unit covering the area? Did the Methodist Church take the NA into confidence while negotiating the ransom with the kidnappers?”

The Army spokesman insisted that “no formal complaint has been received.”

He added, “More worrisome is the fact that it was alleged that the ransom was paid in less than 24 hours. Was the ransom paid to troops?  These are questions that beg for answers.

“Moreso, the NA unit has not received any debrief from the Prelate of the Methodist Church.

“It is, therefore, important to state that troops are deployed at Forward Operating Base, Okigwe and in front of the Abia State University, Uturu and no information was made available to them or to 14 Brigade or any other formation, except the information making the rounds in the social media.

“It must be clarified that troops’ deployment in the Nigerian Army is not done with considerations for ethnic affiliation.”

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