The Nigerian Military yesterday reportedly accused New-York-based online news agency Sahara Reporters of “choosing to support for terrorism and fighting Nigeria, its people, its military and particularly the Nigerian Army”.
The attention of the Nigerian Army was drawn to a publication on the Sahara Reporters entitled, “Nigerian Army Presents Unverified ‘Lt Col’ To Refute Petition Against Military Hierarchy”.
Director of Public Relations, Nigerian Army, Brigadier Olaleye Lajide, has issued a statement dismissing the story and expressing disappointment in Sahara Reporters’ coverage of the issue.
“Before Sahara Reporters published their purported document described as petition from Lt Col Wende, a serving Commanding Officer, the Nigerian Army conducted a thorough investigation on the document involving other security and intelligence agencies. The process confirmed that the serving officer was not the author of the petition.
“While reputable media organizations were on hand to engage the officer, Sahara Reporters being a faceless medium, preferred to remain faceless and was not represented. Sahara Reporters sadly, but predictably, and in fulfilment of its support for terrorism published in its website a fabrication in which it referred to the officer as “unverified”. How absurd!
“Sahara Reporters has strived hard to present itself as a propaganda medium for terrorism and Boko Haram in particular. It is with this in mind, that the Nigerian Army conducted a press conference in Maiduguri in which the officer who appeared for the press conference is Lt Col Wende, a serving officer of the Nigerian Army. Since the officer has clearly dissociated himself from the document, it makes sense that the so-called petition is the handiwork of Sahara Reporters. With time, terrorism in Nigeria will be defeated by the collective will of the good people of Nigeria,” the statement read.