Army warns again: Stop spreading fake news on Metele attack
The Nigeria Army has warned again about the fake news fabricated to demoralise troops, cast aspersion and discredit the military in its operations against the Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.
Brig. Sani Kukasheka Usman, the Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement said that such publications aimed to misinform and mislead the people; aid the insurgents cause and scuttle the 2019 election.
Kukasheka disclosed that some elements had continued to publicise inaccurate casualty figures despite the clarifications by the Army Headquarters on casualties recorded at Metele and other military locations in the northeast.
“The Nigerian Army has noted with great concern the deliberate and concerted efforts to mislead the public by some people through misinformation. Thus; create erroneous impression of the Nigerian Army through inaccurate and false publication of casualty figures on the unfortunate attacks on some of its locations in the northeast.
“The latest of this worrisome development was the attack on our troops’ location at Metele, Borno, in which some persons and media outlets continued to circulate various wrong accounts and inaccurate casualty figures of troops without efforts to verify from the military.
“This is coming on the heels of our release on November 28, 2018; which gave accurate details of the attacks and casualty figures in a bid to set the records straight and inform the public true account of things.
“We also promised to continuously carry the public along through accurate and timely information dissemination on operations and other activities of the Nigerian Army.
“However, it was observed that the trend continued unabated, most of these inaccurate, false reports and fake news was aimed at denigrating the leadership of the Nigerian Army”.
“Regrettably, the rate at which some mischievous persons ignorantly attack the Armed Forces especially the Nigerian Army is very alarming and unfortunate.
“This is a deliberate attempt to demoralise the Nigerian Army which would have devastating consequences on troops’ will to discharge their constitutional duties especially in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, thus affecting national security”.
Kukasheka warned ‘mischief makers’ to keep the Nigerian Army out of politics and mischief, and urged journalists to ensure accurate reportage as well as adhere to professional ethics.
He noted that the feat achieved by the Nigerian Army in the counter insurgency campaign in the past three years was ‘glaringly obvious’, adding that recent temporary setbacks experienced in the course of the fight against insurgency should not be the yardstick for condemning its accomplishments.
According to him, the Nigerian Army has identified those perpetrating the fake news on the Metele attack, adding the army would take appropriate legal actions against them.
Kukasheka explained that the measure was necessary to ensure that the Nigerian Army is insulated from propaganda and ulterior motives of destabilising the country, stressing that the perpetrators were covertly supporting terrorists and their activities in Nigeria with a long term objective.
“We are also aware that they want to use insecurity to scuttle and subvert the democratic process in the country.
“Consequently, we would like to state unequivocally that no amount of mischief or pressure would circumvent the journey to a peaceful, free and fair general elections in Nigeria,” he added.
The director, therefore, sought for support and understanding of Nigerians to enable the army to deal with the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists hibernating at the borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.
Kukasheka reiterated the commitments of the Nigerian Army to depend the nation’s territorial integrity, remained apolitical and professional in the discharge of its constitutional roles.