Two pro-human rights groups, Africa Advocacy for Leadership and Good Governance (AALG) and Transparency Network Centre (TNC) have advocated for media black for terrorists and concentrate on the military’s gains in the fight against terrorism.
The groups, in a statement signed by the national coordinator of AALG, Mahmud Bello and the executive secretary of TNC, Comrade Bashorun Adegbite, expressed worry over the continued media attacks on the Nigerian Army in recent times.
They lamented that the recent attacks of Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and the prison break at Kuje Correctional centre in Abuja had been celebrated with twisted facts and information regarding the true nature of what happened by the international media and individuals.
Bello said such elements celebrated the setbacks by “hyping the ambushes, counter-attacks and repels from the Boko Haram, bandits, ISWAP and other elements to high heavens and downplayed the victories of the Nigerian Army without taking into cognisance the national security question.
“Most of the gains achieved, battles repelled, men of Boko Haram/ISWAP captured or surrendered or killed were denied entries into the media space and public domain, but they rather heightened and embellished news stories of Boko Haram insurgents in a bid to give an impression of defeat and dampen the morale of our troops and the Nigerian public.
“This is a propaganda ploy and strategy orchestrated by the enemies of Nigeria and agent provocateurs all in a bid to drag back the hard-fought war in favour of the insurgents. We are therefore calling on all well-meaning Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to disparage and discountenance these stories”.
The groups asserted that the insurgents had been degraded, decimated and defeated.
“They are scattered all over the Northeast in small cells and ungoverned spaces in some forests where they launch opportunistic attacks, but the Nigerian Army troops are on their toes round the clock, making sure that these small pockets that cause myriads of challenges here and there are rounded up soonest. As a lot of military personnel recently have been deployed to these remote areas and communities with black spots to nip in the bud these pockets of ISWAP/Boko Haram trying to regroup, once and for all.
“A realistic assessment of the security situation shows the insurgents are not winning the war, but have been degraded and demystified by the Nigerian Military, but are just grandstanding and using every propaganda tools and unpatriotic Nigerians including disgruntled politicians to fan the embers of divisiveness”.
The duo added that the recent upsurge in violence across some parts of the country has also been attributed to, and blamed on politicians “according to our diligent findings and research”.
“These are politicians whose desperation for power at whatever cost and for political gains, has seen them pitch tent with insurgents, bandits, herdsmen, kidnappers, terrorists and criminal elements from whom they expect a sustained insurrection against the Nigerian state without thought of its implications and how its impacts on the national security architecture, peace and stability.
“While it is also of note, that international NGOs that have become the official mouth-pieces of terrorists and collaborators for reasons best known to them and questionable characters, activists help to promote this propaganda under the guise of exclusive news, breaking reports, tweets, or stories in social media to fan their embers and to discredit the Nigerian Army.
“These so-called cronies and friends of the criminal elements aid and abet them by slanting and planting stories in the public domain to favour the insurgents against our military,” they said.