The Nigeria military said segments of society including the media are deliberately playing down the operational successes achieved by Nigerian troops in the fight against insurgents.
Defence spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said “the attitude and activities of segments of the society who are still hell bent on undermining the morale of our fighting force by deliberately playing down the operational successes so far achieved remains very unfortunate indeed.
“In a bid to spitefully drown the efforts of our troops, this group of people have been mischievously and exaggeratingly reporting the supportive roles of foreign allies to the detriment of our operational success in the fight against terror,” he added.
General Olukolade said “they go to every extent to ridicule, taunt or project every falsehood, purely to score some points in the clandestine sympathy for the terrorists. This unpatriotic posture is directly or indirectly undermining the esteemed status of Nigeria in the comity of nations.”
He called on the media to beware of the “mischief and conspiracy by some theorists who are still bent on orchestrating a well-rehearsed smear campaign against the Nigerian military” adding “they have been struggling to attribute the recent defeats inflicted on the terrorists to the invincibility of other forces or military outfits other than Nigeria’s.”
Olukolade explained that the current turn of the tide against the terrorists is an initiative conceived and is being driven by the Nigerian military but enjoying the backing of the reinvigorated Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which has troops from Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
He noted that continuous aerial bombardment of identified terrorists’ cells and hideouts by the Nigerian Air Force and subsequent ground offensive by the Nigerian troops pursuing the dislodged terrorists is proving worthwhile.
“Our partners are entrusted with employing the instrumentality of the Multi-National Joint Task Force to contain any terrorists who heads towards our borders with neighbouring countries and preventing the formation of any new safe haven elsewhere,” Olukolade stated.
He also explained that there have been instances where the provisions for the operation of the MNJTF afforded “our partners the latitude required to pursue or beat back a retreating band of terrorists into Nigerian territory as was the case in Gamboru”.
“If other militaries who have just joined the war against the terrorists would be described in some warped reports as “battle-hardened”, how would any sensible commentator or reporter describe the gallant Nigerian forces who have been battling these mercenary-ridden terrorists for over five years now say?,” he asked.
Olukolade further said “the antics of some foreign media and their local collaborators who will stop at nothing to bring the Nigerian military to disrepute is no longer new or unusual. The Nigerian military will not be distracted or detracted from the current momentum which is geared towards stamping out terrorism not only in Nigeria but in the entire sub-region.”
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