Nigerian Army is reported to be unhappy and worried about the negative impact of fake news being released on the morale of the Nigerian troops in the war front currently engaged in fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
The Army seriously believes that such spreading of fake news by the social media is not only very dangerous to soldiers psychology but is also capable of causing great havoc in the on-going war against insurgents. It could damage soldiers’ morale and even cause disunity in the country.
I agree with the army because this action could lead to greater problems in the army. Brigadier General Sani Usman, the army’s spokesman spoke almost in the same vein while being introduced on the NTA Network News last week’s Weekend Extra, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt, Gen T.Y. Buratai as monitored in Abuja. Brigadier Usman, who was visibly worried, was reacting to the presentation of fake news to the public by the social media and an online magazine about the alleged killing of many Nigerian soldiers when they were attacked by Boko Haram elements in Metele, Guzamala local government area of Borno State, which caused serious anxiety in the country. My colleagues and other social media must try to be faithful and God fearing in whatever they will do.
The Army spokesman did not hide his feelings during the brief interview when he said, the negative impact of such fake news on soldiers morale was devastating as some of the soldiers felt very bad about the proliferation or spreading of such false information on the 18th of November when the troops were attacked by the insurgents. The truth of the matter according to Brigadier Usman was that only 23 of the soldiers were killed while 31 of them were receiving treatment as a result of the attack.
Usman like most right thinking people had wondered how any news media outfit or the social media could just go ahead and concoct whatever they like and fed the public with such unsubstantiated false information. The army spokesman was justifiably right in condemning in very strong words the activities of such social media of fake news writing journalists who are involved in what is popularly known as yellow journalist at the expense of the nation. Their actions is to say the least “unpatriotic and a letdown”. I agree with the spokesman.
Even though the Nigerian troops have actually recorded a lot of successes in the on-going war within the past years, the two factors of the Boko Haram have launched about 10-15 of such attacks on the troops but were repelled on many occasions by our soldiers. At the end of the most of these attacks, the insurgents had encountered heavy loses according to Usman as the gallant soldiers had chased them into bushes and some hidden places where they are probably hibernating now.
As explained by Brigadier Usman the soldiers are still on top of the situation despite the war, attack on them. They have continued to record successes while the insurgents have recorded heavy loses and casualties after they were neutralized by the soldiers with over 90 percent of them being rendered useless and militarily degraded. Many people across the country are of the firm view that the Nigerian soldiers are now pushing for a renewal trust or efforts to completely defeat the Boko Haram elements in the North East.
Ibrahim Biu, Abuja.