A non-partisan civil society organization (CSO), North East Advocacy for Peace (NEAP) has berated Reuters, an international news agency over plans to undermine Nigeria’s national security and truncate the new found peace in the region through its reportage.
The group said it independent investigations attributed the return of peace to ongoing military operations in the region, adding that Nigerians, particularly people living in the North East region will not fall for the evil agenda of Reuters.
Reuters had said that it was working on a series of stories about purported actions of the Nigerian military during the government’s 13-year war against Islamist insurgents in the country’s North East.
NEAP President Abdul Monguno in the press release on Friday described Reuter’s actions as unethical and failed mission the attempt to use its medium to undermine national security.
NEAP expressed surprised that Reuters is going petty in a concocted plot to smear the image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with fake propaganda and unsubstantiated claims.
He said, “It is a shame that Reuters is now acting as agents for terrorists that have caused us pains. Terrorists that sent us into internally displaced people’s (IDP) homes in our country. It is a shame that a group of people who caused us several years backwardness can be defended by Reuters.
“Is Reuters aware of the several girl children forced into motherhood as a result of the activities of the insurgents? Is Reuters aware of our youths who have abandoned everything to become terrorists? Is Reuters aware of families who have been disjointed and some killed?
“We, NEAP and several other genuine organisations are in a better place to say what we have faced in the years that our region has been turned upside down. Reuters cannot speak for us.
“Instead of crucifying our military, they should be commended for the sacrifice been made to restore peace and stability in our region.
“We use this opportunity to warn that the gradual return of peace as a result of ongoing operations should not be truncated by the ulterior motives of Reuters. Is Reuters alarmed that peace is gradually returning to our region?
“Is the media house aware of the several terrorists who have surrendered and genuinely repented of their former nefarious activities?
“The Nigerian military has been commended globally for peace keeping in places of unrest, Reuters is aware of this. Therefore, the negative report will not swear the minds of Nigerians, especially we the people of the region.
“We remain eternally grateful to our Armed Forces for ongoing military operations in the North East and the non-kinetic approach of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen LEO Irabor which is yielding massive successes.”