The Federal Government said on Saturday that it was in possession of credible information on sponsored campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military leadership by ‘unscrupulous’ members of the Nigerian society.
A statement by Colonel Tukur Gusau, Spokesman to the Minister of Defence, said, “The orchestrated campaign of calumny is aimed at smearing the name and rubbishing the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria at fighting the menace of Boko Haram in our country although they intend to create the impression that they were fighting corruption and to instill good governance”.
The statement titled ‘Public Alert on Sponsored Campaign of Calumny against the Leadership of the Nigerian Military’ said, “However, from all indications their motive is far from noble.
“According to their plan, the campaign will be centered around but not limited to the following line of thoughts; that the Boko Haram terrorists still exist in numbers in several camps within Nigerian territory and that the terrorists are only being disturbed by the effort of the Nigerian Air Force who were able to disperse them, while the Nigerian Army does nothing other than telling stories”.
“They want to buttress this through the recent isolated attacks on soft targets by fleeing remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“They want to create and impression that the Nigerian military and indeed the government are not doing anything even when told of pending attacks on communities.
“The campaigners want to disparage the achievements recorded especially as regards the ongoing clearance operations and establishment of the various Forward Operations Bases (FOBs) by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and to describe them as scams to conceal the huge expenditure on the operations against Boko Haram terrorists.
“The unscrupulous elements want to posit that troops morale in the front lines is low due to poor management of resources and administration and they intend to do that by stage managing and sponsor interviews with some front line soldiers calculated to tarnish the image of not only military leadership but the entire nation, which will be released through some select media houses.
“They also plan to use photographs of old Boko Haram terrorists’ camps to collaborate their active existence with nothing being done as claimed by the Nigerian military.
“The group of persons wants to portray the recent change of key commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole by the military as an attempt to use his key loyalists to cover up.
“Already they have started scouting for willing collaborators and disgruntled officers and soldiers to use in executing this smearing campaign.
“We have it on good authority that they would commence their nefarious campaign any moment from now.
“Consequently, the Federal Government of Nigeria wishes to inform the public that such campaigns by these highly unpatriotic elements would not deter it from its focused and determined efforts of defending the territorial integrity of our country.
“The public should continue to have trust and confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces as they continue to carry out their duties, diligently, responsibly and professionally.
“The government would like to further reiterate its total commitment to the welfare of troops, accountability and probity and no amount of mischief would derail it from its determined effort of taking the Nigeria to greater heights.
“We would like to enjoin officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Armed Forces to continue to be law abiding and dedicated to their duties as anyone that allowed himself to be used by these unscrupulous elements would have himself to blame” the statement concluded.
Colonel Tukur Ismail Gusau
Public Relations officer to the Hon Minister of Defence