The Nigerian Army headquarters has said that sundry videos purporting to be those of Boko Haram attacks on military bases are fake and spurious.
The Army Headquarters also threatened to invoke relevant sections of the Cybercrimes
(Prohibition & Prevention etc) Act, 2015 against persons suspected of peddling what it described as “fake news,” especially with regard to security operations in the country.
Sequel to the Monday Boko Haram attack on the Metele military base in Borno State in which over a hundred soldiers were killed, videos allegedly recorded by survivors of the attacks have surfaced on the Internet, eliciting criticisms of the government among Nigerians.
However, in a press release via its verified Twitter handle @HQNigerianArmy on Sunday, the military expressed “dismay,” describing the videos as “spurious.”
In a tweet linking its Facebook page, the Nigerian Army Headquarters tweeted:
“Press statement on spurious dissemination of fake videos purporting bht attacks on military locations
“The Nigerian 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 have 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 above all, to undermine national security.
“The Nigerian 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.
“Unfortunately, many do not know that in discretional posts and comments from a citizen that is supposed to be solidly behind its military in these trying times could have a way of dampening the morale of the troops.
“However, the Nigerian Amy’s resolve in protecting the territorial integrity and sanctity of the Nigerian State would not be undermined by detractors or tacit supporters of the enemies of our beloved country.
“Whilst appreciating the concerns of well-meaning Nigerians who genuinely care for the well-being of its military, the Nigerian Army wants to draw the attention of its
detractors to the fact that spreading of fake news is an offense and violates the provisions of Section 24(1)(a),(b) and (2)(a),(b),(c)(i),(ii) of the Cybercrimes
(Prohibition & Prevention etc) Act, 2015.
“In view of this, please note that the Nigerian Army would henceforth report these infractions and file cases against individuals or groups who deliberately spread fake
news that aims to undermine national security, in courts of competent jurisdictions.
“Equally, the Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public of its iReport channels on the
Nigerian Army website, Android and iOS platforms via which the public can forward meaningful advice, criticism or observations that would enable the Nigerian Army better serve the good people of Nigeria.
“You are to please note this and kindly disseminate through your various channels.”