Stories by Musa Umar Bologi
The Federal Government has disclosed that there are plans by some people to tarnish the image of the country and the leadership of the military through sponsored fake information.
Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali disclosed this in a statement through his media aide, Col. Tukur Ismail Gusau.
He said such people intent to hide under the guise of fighting corruption and still governance, while orchestrating campaigns of calumny that would smear the government and rubbish its efforts in fighting terrorism in the country.
The minister said: “According to their plan, the campaign will be centered around but not limited to the following line of thoughts: that the Boko Haram terrorists still exist in numbers in several camps within Nigerian territory and that the terrorists are only being disturbed by the effort of the Nigerian Air Force who were able to disperse them, while the Nigerian Army does nothing other than telling stories. They want buttress this through the recent isolated attacks on soft targets by fleeing remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“They want to create and impression that the Nigerian military and indeed the government are not doing anything even when told of pending attacks on communities. The campaigners want to disparage the achievements recorded especially as regards the ongoing clearance operations and establishment of the various Forward Operations Bases (FOBs) by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and to describe them as scams to conceal the huge expenditure on the operations against Boko Haram terrorists.
“The unscrupulous elements want to posit that troops morale in the front lines is low due to poor management of resources and administration and they intend to do that by stage managing and sponsor interviews with some front line soldiers calculated to tarnish the image of not only military leadership but the entire nation, which will be released through some select media houses.
“They also plan to use photographs of old Boko Haram terrorists’ camps to collaborate their active existence with nothing being done as claimed by the Nigerian military.
“The group of persons want to portray the recent change of key commanders of Operation LAFIYA DOLE by the military as an attempt to use his key loyalists to cover up.”
Dan-Ali said the people had started scouting for willing collaborators and disgruntled officers and soldiers to use in executing this smearing campaign, and are ready to commence their campaign at any moment.
“Consequently, the Federal Government of Nigeria wishes to inform the public that such campaigns by these highly unpatriotic elements would not deter it from its focused and determined efforts of defending the territorial integrity of our country,” he said.
The public should continue to have trust and confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces as they continue to carry out their duties, diligently, responsibly and professionally. The government would like to further reiterate its total commitment to the welfare of troops, accountability and probity and no amount of mischief would derail it from its determined effort of taking the Nigeria to greater heights.
The minister enjoined personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces to continue to be law abiding and dedicated to their duties “as anyone that allowed himself to be used by these unscrupulous elements would have himself to blame.”