The Nigerian Army has accused a London-based magazine, ”The Economist” of trying to denigrate, demonise and destabilise the Nigerian government in its recent article entitled “Insurgency, secessionism and banditry threaten Nigeria”.
The respected news outlet, in the piece, had aptly reflected the worsening insecurity, banditry, and agitations that continue to ravage parts of the nation despite the efforts of the security agencies to curb the spike.
But the Director, Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement reacting to the piece on Saturday, disagrees, apparently seeing the article as a direct attack on the army.
He said the “Nigerian army remained a professional, hard-fighting and globally respected institution”.
Mr Nwachukwu said the nation’s army had continued to occupy deserved glorious positions in the comity of global defence forces.
He said the Nigerian army had distinguished itself as a worthy contributor to global peace and security through regional, continental and international peace keeping and peace support operations.
The army spokesperson said “it was also wrong to denigrate an army that had restored democracies, brought peace to troubled lands and stabilised the sub-region, through dint of hard work, commitment to duty, discipline and professionalism.”
“It was the same army that had weathered the storm of terrorism and insurgency in the north eastern part of the country and parts of the Lake Chad region,” he said, pointing out that the offending article contained “some unimaginable slurs targeted at the Nigerian military and the Nigerian army in particular.”
“Even as the real intention of the otherwise respected Economist magazine in publishing such toxic concoctions weaved up as report on Nigerian Government’s response to the multi-faceted security challenges assailing the country is yet to be unravelled, the source of the article was very clear.
“It is one of those deliberate falsehoods and noxious narratives orchestrated by a network of detractors and coven of dark forces working very hard to adorn the Nigerian Army in an unfitting garb of infamy.
“The vile report which the Economist chose to offer to its platform for publication, spared no effort in trying to vilify and rubbish the image, character and reputational standing of the Nigerian army, but failed woefully.
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“The Nigerian army is certainly not what the so-called report by the Economist tried to characterize it.
“Even more ludicrous was the embellishments of the said report by the notorious unprofessional media outlets that were quick to republish the obvious falsehood,” he said.
Mr Nwachukwu also accused the international magazine of allowing its medium to be used for a “hatchet job” and failing in its effort of finding out the real truth about the Nigerian army, saying “what the magazine and its sources did not know, was that said army had successfully stopped the Islamic States West African Province (ISWAP)”.
He said the magazine was misled by those who were uncomfortable with the commitment of army troops in stamping out terrorism, banditry and other violent crimes assailing the country and the West African sub-region.
According to him, “the gallant officers and soldiers of Nigerian army were undeterred, undistracted and totally unfazed by the hare-brained assertions contained in that silly report.” (NAN)