The Nigerian Army has warned against “subverting the democratic process by peddling fake news and falsehood in order to demoralise the military in the war against insurgency and promote a change of government.”
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sani Kukasheka Usman, who gave the warning in a statement last night entitled “Leave Nigerian Army out of Politics and Fake News”, advised those who indulge in the act to jettison the idea or face the music.
The army said those unleashing attacks on the military and peddling false casualty figures of the Melete attack in spite of the official and “accurate” figures released last Wednesday were covert supporters of terrorism.
Pointing out that the aim of such mischief makers was to scuttle the 2019 election and subvert the democratic process, the army said it had identified “a few unpatriotic harbingers of the fake news on the attack at Metele and would take appropriate legal actions against them”.
The statement read: “The Nigerian Army is quite aware that the perpetrators through these acts are 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.
“We therefore need the continued support, encouragement and understanding of well-meaning Nigerians as we deal decisively with the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists hibernating at the fringes of our borders with contiguous countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.”
The Army further stated that it remained committed to the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria and will continue to be professional in its assigned roles and remain apolitical at all times.
“Once more, we warn mischief makers and proponents of misinformation and fake news to desist from such practice and join other well meaning, law abiding Nigerians to support our army to countering terrorism and insurgency in the country.
“We would like to warn all those mischief makers to keep the Nigerian Army out of their politics and mischief. Journalists and media platforms should be professional and accurate in their reportage.
“The achievements of the Nigerian Army within the last three years are glaringly obvious, therefore, whatever recent temporary setbacks we experienced in the course of the fight against terrorism and insurgency should not be the yardstick for condemning these laudable three and half years’ accomplishments.”