Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters has claimed that a prominent political leader from one of the northeast states ravaged by members of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, is sponsoring “a renewed campaign aimed at attracting international condemnation and indictment of the Nigerian military and its operations in the Northern part of the country.”
In a statement released today and titled “New Plot Against Operations of Nigerian Military,” the Defense Headquarters asserted that the ostensible campaign “is to rely heavily on doctored and falsified audio visual materials, some of which are already trending in the social media,” adding that the alleged plot “is to be coordinated and funded by a prominent political leader whose state is presently under the State of Emergency.”
Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States, all part of the volatile northeast section of Nigeria that has witnessed incessant terror attacks by members of Boko Haram, are under emergency rule.
The military’s statement, which was signed by Major General Chris Olukolade, the director of information at Defense Headquarters, did not disclose the identity of the so-called Nigeria nor specify his home state or political affiliation.
General Olukolade claimed that the details of the plot against the Nigerian military was “already being fine-tuned by a group of media practitioners” and would be “presented for the final ratification and funding by the political figure.” He alleged that the plot “is expected to forcefully whip up sentiments of genocide allegedly targeted against a particular religious group. The planners of this multi-media crusade also hope to use it to gain some mileage in the drive to secure international attention as they have not achieved this sufficiently despite previous efforts.”
The Nigerian military has come under international spotlight in the aftermath of Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok, Borno State on April 14. Boko Haram is still holding most of the kidnapped girls at a location that remains unknown.
A few days ago, Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, claimed that the Nigerian military had identified the secret location where the abducted girls are being kept. He however ruled out the use of force to rescue them, citing the likely high level of casualties in the event of such a military operation. US military sources said they were skeptical about the claim that the girls’ whereabouts had been found.
General Olukolade stated that the so-called plot against the military was “also meant to reinforce the ongoing media campaign against the military,” adding that it “was adopted as an alternative by those who are bent on politicizing the ongoing counter terrorists operations in the northern part of the country.”
He stated that a newspaper “last week published some of the doctored pictures which the Defense Headquarters instantly repudiated, pointing out that they do not represent activities or operations of the Nigerian military.”
General Olukolade said the Defense Headquarters “wishes to reiterate its rejection of pictures and video footages from unverifiable sources claiming to reflect activities or so called atrocities purportedly perpetrated by Nigerian security forces.” His statement added: “They do not reflect or depict the true state of affairs or operations of Nigerian military or any of the security forces. The public is advised to watch out and not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by these acts of infamy orchestrated by this desperate group.”
His statement “emphasized that the dastardly acts of terrorism are against all Nigerians and all peace loving people all over the world. No amount of propaganda by apologists of terror group can justify the evil acts of terrorism by attempting to cast the Nigerian military and security forces in bad light.”
– Sahara Reporter