The Nigerian Army wishes to note with great concern the recent spate of negative, unguarded comments and derogative publications both on mainstream and on online media, denigrating the Armed Forces of Nigeria particularly, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force by some unidentified, unscrupulous and unpatriotic individuals and groups.
This was expressed in a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.
It explained that the worrisome trend is observed mostly whenever they record successes in their military operations against Boko Haram terrorists and other laudable military endeavours such as when the United States Government decided to sell Tucano aircrafts to Nigeria.
“It is really surprising that these agents of destruction are not happy with the welcomed development of the sale of weapons and our collective success.
“The list of their systematic, unrelenting and futile attempts to rubbish either the leadership or ridicule the Services through baseless allegations is quite lengthy. First there was a letter written by some self-appointed leaders of Islamic Movement of Nigeria on 17th August 2017 to United States of American government exhorting it to rescind its decision to sell Tucano aircraft, weapons and military hardware to Nigeria citing baseless reasons,” it explained.
It further said that this was followed by another round of ‘cacophony’ of lies and unfounded allegations through media interviews by some individuals and bloggers and on Facebook and other Social media platforms and followed by concorted statistics by a well-known Non-Governmental Organization alleging that there was resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists activities even when the facts on the ground speaks otherwise.
“This dovetailed into a syndicated and paid article titled “As EFCC confesses the sad truth” published by Daily Trust and Punch newspapers on 3rd September 2017 written by Canada based writer, Sonala Olumhense calling for the resignation of the Chief of Army Staff over the 40-day deadline given to the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE. This is in addition to other writings by hosts of self-acclaimed champions of the masses that go by various appellations on the Social Media making spurious and unfounded allegations against the military.
“The most unfortunate of these campaigns of calumny was a recent publication titled “Nigerians blame the NAF for failures in war against insurgents” by one Isaac Dachen on some online publication news outlets notably The Pulse. It is important to state that these vituperatives are ill-conceived and destructive posturings against the successes achieved in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in Nigeria and must stop.
“This is because it is very clear that the aim of these people is to denigrate the leadership of the military, demoralize our troops and create doubts among the public on our ability and capability to deal decisively with security issues and assigned tasks in the name of advocacy and criticisms.
“Unfortunately for them the Nigerian military is one of the best and most cohesive in the world. We have been discharging our duties diligently which brought about the desired successes achieved so far. The Services in conjunction with other security agencies have been doing the nation proud, sometimes at the expense of our dear lives. We will remain focused and resolute in serving our country,” it added.
The Army said that it is imperative to note that the Nigerian Air Force is the backbone of the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.
“It has been identifying and neutralizing Boko Haram terrorists camps, some of its leadership, logistics and armoured fighting vehicles through its air interdictions.
“The Nigerian Air Force has also been lifting logistics for the Nigerian Army and also supported in casualty evacuation and guiding troops during operations in addition to the provision of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and humanitarian activities, amongst others.
“There is no doubt that it is the coordinated efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies that has led to our victory over the Boko Haram terrorists, a feat that is not only unprecedented, but acknowledged the world over. It is therefore most unkind and uncharitable for anybody to accuse any Service of any perceived or imagined lapses and attributing same to causing failure in the war against terrorists.
“Such unguarded utterances and malicious allegations by individuals and reports by Non-Governmental Organizations are false, ill-timed and deplorable. Troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces should rather be commended for their selfless service which includes paying the supreme price.
“The Nigerian Army fully appreciates the significant roles of the Nigerian Air Force in the North East and elsewhere across our country. We are partners in progress and the Nigerian Air Force is a key factor in our successes and we will continue to enjoy the supportive role as well specific Nigerian Air Force operations to finally clear the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding,” it concluded.