The Nigerian military has dissociated itself from comments by a senior cleric blaming the Fulani and Kanuri ethnic nationalities for Boko Haram, citing military sources.
The military described the statement made by Methodist Archbishop, Samuel Uche, as a personal opinion.
At the Armed Forces Remembrance church service in Abuja on Sunday, Mr. Uche said soldiers fighting against Boko Haram informed him that Fulani and Kanuri, in their bid to seize power and portray President Goodluck Jonathan in a bad light, were behind the brutal insurgency.
He made the remark at an event attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, David Mark, military top brass and other important personalities.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said those who spoke to the Archbishop could be individuals who shared their opinions with him, adding that several individuals masquerade and call themselves soldiers.
“The man said individuals spoke to him; that does not represent the official position of the military,” Mr. Olukolade, a Major General said.
Mr. Uche, during his sermon said “Let me reveal to you this evening and at this important service at this juncture that some of our soldiers, because you know we Bishops have impact in the society, we relate with soldiers and all manner of people. And some of the people in warfront have confided in us that apart from some mercenaries from Chad, Libya as well as Somalia, 95 percent of those fighting our country are of Fulani and Kanuri origin.”