A rights group, Conference of Civil Society for Peace, Security and National Development has taken a swipe at an online news platform, SaharaReporters describing it as having penchant for publishing unverifiable stories against the Nigeria military.
The group in a statement reacting to a publication by the platform that several soldiers were reportedly killed in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Baga, a town under Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State explained that the online newspaper has published similar stories thrice in the last two months that turned out to be outrightly false.
The group recalled that that the newspaper on Tuesday published that Boko Haram fighters in several vehicles again stormed Baga town and engaged Nigeria troops in intense fighting, killing several of them.
However, the conveners of the CSOs, Comrade Mike Msuaan and Mallam Adamu Kabir Matazu, in a statement issued in Abuja said the publication was a figment of imagination of the news portal as well of its desire for Nigeria to collapse.
“Our findings have exposed the online news portal as having penchant for publishing malicious and unverifiable stories against the Nigeria military. In the spate of two months alone, it has published three similar stories alleging that the nation’s troops were killed in their numbers by the insurgents.
“Their strategy has remained the same. Such stories are always attributed to an unidentified source. Also the number of casualties varies. It is either not known at the time of publication or an imaginary figure is given. This strategy is an attempt to dampen the morale of the military fighting insurgency and embolden the terror groups.
“We find the hatchet job been done by the online newspaper highly unpatriotic. However, we are aware that every society has in it all manner of people and issues and therefore must stand up to encourage the military not to be deterred in their efforts to stamp out insurgents, bandits and other criminal elements in the country”, the statement noted.
It further explained there has been tremendous successes recorded in the battle against insurgency especially since 2015 when the current security chiefs took over against the dreaded BokoHaram/ISWAP.
Consequently, the CSOs commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment in supporting the military to succeed in the task of freeing the nation from insurgents and defeating her territory integrity.
The group appealed to all citizens to be vigilant and volunteer information to the security agencies as their contribution to ensuring that the nation is properly secured.