The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says a viral video showing a federal lawmaker, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, firing an AK-47 rifle guided by military personnel was taken at Falgore Forest Military Training Camp in Kano State.
Doguwa, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, is being prosecuted by the police on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, mischief by fire, and inciting disturbance.
He was arrested by the police in Kano over the death of three persons in his constituency in the February 25 presidential election.
Following the emergence of the viral video, the acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, said the clip was taken during the 3 Brigade Nigerian Army Training Exercise where he was invited as a special guest.
“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,” he said in a statement on Friday.
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“The video in question was taken at Falgore Forest Military Training Camp during the 3 Brigade Nigerian Army Training Exercise where Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa was invited as a special guest.
“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.
“Ceremonial firing in such an exercise is the practice the world over and is not new in the armed forces as several other senior citizens have participated in such exercises in the past.”
According to Gusau, the viral video was posted with an intent to dent the image of the military at a time the role of the armed forces in the last presidential and National Assembly elections was hailed by Nigerians and the international community.
He stated that some clerics had equally released audio clips containing wrong interpretations of the speech the Majority Leader made at the occasion, saying the “doctored interpretation of the speech is capable of instigating crisis, thus leading to heightened tension as the country prepares for a smooth transition to another elected government.”
The defence spokesman stated that the military will continue to discharge its constitutional responsibilities while also remaining apolitical to strengthen the democratic values of our great nation.
He equally warned mischief-makers against denting the image of the armed forces with senseless videos and unconfirmed audio clips but rather channel their energy towards ensuring Nigeria strives higher in the preservation of democratic gains.