Army spokesman removes journalist from WhatsApp group after asking how N2.6 trn was spent
Nigerian Army has removed the Abuja Bureau Chief of News Central TV, Amadin Uyi from a WhatsApp group after the journalist asked questions about military spending.
News Central TV said Uyi was removed from the Department of Army Public Relations (DAPR) Whatsapp platform, which is “operated by the DAPR Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, assisted by spokespersons in the army divisions.”
Yerima is the spokesperson for the Nigerian Army.
A screenshot shared by News Central TV showed that Uyi asked the DAPR to explain in detail how the army has spent over two trillion naira in the fight against insurgency from 2015 to date.
“The COAS conference has posed many questions that need answers… The Chief of Army Staff says he will work towards addressing logistics challenges; this is really shocking, considering the fact that about 2.6 trillion naira has been spent between 2015 and 2019. We really want to know what he really meant by this statement,” Uyi asked on the army WhatsApp group.
“He also said he has given the directive that more weapons be procured; the question is, with 2.6 trillion naira spent in 4 years, does it mean that funds were not enough to buy enough weapons?”
Also in his message to the WhatsApp group, the screenshot showed, Uyi had asked the Army head of Public Relations, to explain if the “unserviceable” equipment would be abandoned.
“Thirdly, he (The COAS) talked about back-loading damaged and unserviceable equipment in the theatre and instructing that they be repaired immediately, “Does it mean they were abandoned in the past; I will really need answers to these” Amadin was quoted as saying.
Angered by Uyi’s question, Yerima considered it offensive and embarrassing and subsequently deleted Uyi from the group.
Reacting to his removal from the army group, NewsCentral TV said it “Stand By Amadin Uyi” in a series of tweets on its Twitter timeline on Friday.
The news platform said Uyi’s questions were “very pertinent questions” adding that, the journalist “has an uncanny knack for investigative reportage and is not known for asking frivolous questions.”
“We also request for the sake of its credibility, that the Nigerian Army address these questions raised by our correspondent, #AmadinUyi, who has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism since this went down,” the station added.