Following ceaseless bickering over unsubstantiated facts on budget from certain organisations, Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET), a civil society group, has backed the Nigerian Army.
The group, during a press conference, on Tuesday, in Lagos, questioned the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE) and BudgIT, raised the alarm over the Army’s budget implementation in the last three years.
According to CESJET, these groups have no moral right to enquire into the military’s activities, especially as they are known to be sponsored by external fraternisation to destabilise the progress.
Executive Director of CESJET, Barr. Gbemisola Osaloni advised SERAP, EiE and BudgIT to visit the Theatre of Operations to get the needed information instead of indulging in falsehood.
“CESJET, a civil society organisation at the vanguard for social justice and transparency in Nigeria, herby condemn in its totality the questionable call for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigeria Army by the SERAP, EiE and BudgIT.
“CESJET frowns at such a request coming from groups that are known for external fraternisation in the funding of their activities.
“CESJET wishes to use this medium to inform the members of the unsuspecting public that the trio of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Enough is Enough and BudgIT might be carrying out a script from their oversees donors that have continually funded their operations, but hiding under the umbrella of advocates for transparency and good governance.
“In the years that civil society organisations crisscrossed North East Nigeria to demand better welfare for troops and as well as demand for transparency in the operations of the Nigeria Army, SERAP, EiE and BudgIT distanced themselves from such activities. Instead, they rely on desk research and hearsay when issuing statements.
The group further stated that it rejects the destabilising moves by these organisations that know little or nothing about military operations in warfare.
“So, to demand for budget implementation reports is not only an act of ignorance, but an attempt to cause a distraction which is most uncharitable in timing and intent.
“The likes of SERAP and BudgIT get their funding from organisations based outside the shores of the country and as such, it would not be farfetched if part of the payback would be to cause a distraction such as this in an attempt to create unnecessary tension in the polity.
The group said it view the call as against National interest and must be resisted by well-meaning Nigerians, adding that Nigerians must question such a request that is capable of jeopardising the efforts of the Nigerian Army in its ongoing operations across the country.