For the embattled Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, support came from the Federal Government on Monday over his acquisition of choice properties in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The government said Buratai was transparent about the acquisition.
The Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), gave the backing on behalf of the government in a statement signed by his Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO), Brig-Gen. Mohammed Sani Ahmed.
Dan-Ali said the Army Chief did not hide the properties, as he declared in more than one occasion to both the Nigerian Army and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
“It is on record that Lt-Gen. Buratai has declared his assets as Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and as Chief of Army Staff to the Code of Conduct Bureau. These facts are verifiable with the Bureau,” he said.
He said the reports were deliberately released to embarrass and tarnish the image of Buratai with the ultimate aim of derailing the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the North East.
Dan-Ali also said there had been series of attempts in the past to soil the image of COAS both those he described as “disgruntled and unpatriotic elements”.
He said: “The Ministry of Defence has observed with dismay the online media report of involvement of the Chief of Army Staff and his family over ownership of property in Dubai.
“It is noteworthy that there has been series of concerted efforts in the past by the same medium and its cohorts to tarnish the image of the person of Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai for the reason best known to them, which failed to achieve their desired ulterior motives.
“The Ministry of Defence views this as an attempt by some unpatriotic and disgruntled elements to distract the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces from the successes of the war against terror particularly in the North East,” he added.
The minister said that “while appreciating the role of the media in nation building wishes to equally advise the media to exhibit high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties especially when it comes to security and defence related matters”.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government “will not harbour personalities with dubious character”, urging that “the online report should be disregarded in its entirety”.