Army calls video ‘fake’, threatens legal action; Buhari vows revenge over killing of soldiers
The Nigerian Army on Saturday warns against circulation of fake video footage released by Boko Haram insurgents’ purported attack on a military base at Metele, Borno.
The army in a Facebook post expressed concern over indiscriminate circulation of series of fake video footage on social media platforms, an action which creates fear and unrest in the society.
This is even as President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep shock over the killing of military personnel in Metele, saying his administration remains committed to the security of military personnel and other citizens.
The president stated this in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday.
Buhari, who was reacting to the tragic incident, assured that immediate measures had been taken to ensure that “the loopholes which led to the fatalities were blocked, once and for all.’’
He said: “No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of military personnel and other citizens.
“Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support, in terms of equipment and manpower, to succeed in ending the renewed threat.
“In the coming days, I am engaging the military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
The Army however dismissed the videos as ‘false’, explaining that they do not portray the situation on ground, stressing that such videos served the purpose intended by the insurgents to misinform; spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and undermine national security.
“The Nigeria Army has continued to observe with great dismay the myriads of photos and video clips being recklessly distributed on various social media platforms by different caliber of persons.
“It is indeed shocking to see how these well doctored propaganda materials from enemies of the state succeeded in creating fear and unrest in the polity.
“These doctored materials are obviously serving the purposes intended by the terrorists to misinform the populace; spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and undermine national security.
“The Nigeria Army wants to categorically state that the videos and images making rounds as the purported attack on Metele base are false and do not in any way portray the reality of the situation on the ground,” it said.
The Nigerian Army headquarters lamented that many do not know that in discretionary posts and comments from a citizen that is supposed to be solidly behind its military in trying times could dampen troops’ morale.
The Army reiterated its commitments to the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity, maintaining that the sanctity of the Nigerian state would not be undermined by detractors or tacit supporters of the enemies.
It warned that it would not condone act of spreading fake news as it violate the provisions of the cyber crime laws.
“While appreciating the concerns of well-meaning Nigerians, who genuinely care for the wellbeing of military personnel, the Nigerian Army wants to draw the attention of its detractors to the fact that spreading fake news is an offense and violation of Section 24 (1) (a & b); and (2) (a), (b), (c), (i), (ii) of the Cyber-crimes Prohibition and Prevention Act, 2015.
“In view of this, please note that the Nigeria Army, henceforth, report the infractions and file case against individuals or groups who deliberately spread fake news that aim to undermine national security in courts of competent jurisdictions.
“Equally; the Nigeria Army wishes to inform the public of its iReport channels on the NA website, android and iOS platforms through which members of the public can forward meaningful advice, criticism or observations that would enable it to better serve the good people of Nigeria”. (NAN)