The Nigerian Army has denied reports that 17 soldiers were killed during a face off with terrorist group, Boko Haram, along Bama-Gwoza road.
In a statement signed by its Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, the Nigerian Army said, ” our attention has been drawn to a fictitious news report published or posted online on 19 January 2020.
“The malicious reports claimed that ‘not less than 17 soldiers were killed in confrontations between the military and Boko Haram insurgents along Bama – Gwoza road weekend.’
The report further claimed that ‘many soldiers were also said to have been abducted by the insurgents during the confrontations even as the number of casualties, though also large from the Boko Haram side, could not be ascertained.’
It is pertinent to categorically state that the said news reports are not true but are simply the figments of the imaginations of their authors.
“It is equally pertinent to stress the fact that, while the Nigerian Army recognizes the role of the media in nation building and indeed considers them as partners in progress, she however frowns at some of the unprofessional conducts and activities of a few enemies of our great nation who, by their false, speculative and sensational reportage, continue to undermine national security either wittingly or unwittingly, and in so doing, they are not only soiling the good reputation of some media professionals, but are indeed undermining the sacrificial efforts of the troops fighting the insurgents. This is clearly demonstrated in the fabricated or unsubstantiated reports under reference.
The false reports, which could best be described as Yellow Journalism, have exposed the ignorance and the desperation of its authors and their unscrupulous but failed attempt at creating unnecessary security concerns where there is none.
“It is indeed unfortunate that, while Nigerian Army troops have been doing their best to ensure that there is a safe and secure environment for our people, there are a few people within the media world who, perhaps for percuniary reasons, are determined to thwart such sacrificial efforts of the troops through such mischievous and completely false publications.
The Nigerian Army wonders who were the alleged 17 casualties and would indeed be glad if those behind the reports could tell their audience precisely where the said casualties are and where such imaginary fight actually took place.
It is a well known fact that sensational headlines and reports attract bumper sells. However, it should be noted particularly by the observed unpatriotic reporters that, such bumper sells should not be at the expense of the their reputation and the precious lives of our gallant troops. It is quite disappointing to also observe that, some international organizations have equally fallen prey to the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province propaganda antics.
It is pertinent to add that the Army Headquarters has keenly observed that fake news, particularly on security-related issues have become rampant from the inception of the New Year, 2020.
“It is therefore necessary to warn the perpetrators to desist from unnecessarily peddling false reports that are capable of undermining the counter terrorism and counter insurgency efforts in the North East.”