Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic cleric, says he was not referring to the present-day Nigerian army when he suggested that troops are allegedly deployed along religious lines.
Gumi was quoted to have said non-Muslim soldiers carried out orchestrated killings of bandits.
The cleric had also said that such killings spurred bandits to launch attacks.
Reacting to the cleric on Monday, the army said it does not deploy troops along ethnic or religious lines while accusing the cleric of deliberately wanting to “disparage the Nigerian Army to portray it in bad light”.
Clarifying his comment in an interview with BBC News Pidgin, Gumi said he was not referring to the army of today.
“I saw what the army said. What I will say is that there is a misunderstanding in the issues. When I speak about the religious issue in the army, I’m not referring to today’s army,’’ Gumi said.
“The issue is from 2010-2015 when some people who were in charge of the army and when a lot of bad things happened.
“It was during that time, bombings happened everywhere. It happened in Jaji and we lost a popular Muslim general and it was God that saved me because they planted a bomb on me.”
In recent times, Gumi has made the headlines for his series of meetings with bandits in the forests of northern parts of the country.