Friday, March 6, 2015 9:06 am
A group of Nigerians Thursday protested against some media houses in Nigeria alleging bias in their report of military activities in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
The Boko Haram group has, for six years running carried out almost a weekly attack on villages and major towns in the North-eastern part of the country and in some cases, taking over towns and military bases.
Days to the earlier scheduled general elections for February this year, the country’s service chiefs unanimously said they would not be available to provide security for the elections as they would be engaging in a counter-offensive against the terrorist group. They sought for six weeks to do this.
Since then, however, they have constantly announced their successes gaining back the lost territories.
But the protesting group, which visited some of the media houses in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, said the reports emanating from the media organisations were not satisfactory enough.
In a letter titled; ‘Stop Your Bad Press Against The Nigerian Military’, to one of the organisations, the group under the auspices of Citizens In Defence of the Integrity of Nigerian Military, CDINM, said: “as concerned Nigerians who daily monitor news and developments in the country, particularly the counter-terrorist operation in the north east, we are appalled to note that your newspaper has consistently reported the activities of our military in a manner that neither represent the truth or promote the course of our national security.
“We are here therefore to formally register our deep resentment over your editorial policy which seems to have allowed the primordial sentiments of ethnicity, religion politics or whatever interests to becloud your sense of nationalism even when reporting sensitive national security matters like the ongoing war against terror. Your consistent and unwarranted negative reportage of the military gives vent to parochialism and partisanship and has without doubt casted our gallant military in bad light while emboldening the terrorists and casting them in a toga of invincibility.
“A lot of us here are from the states mostly affected by the activities of the terrorists. We have lost relations and friends; our towns and communities are devastated, our people forced into refugee situation in their own country. Our interest therefore is to assist our military to end this scourge to enable us live our normal lives again. We do not need media reports that will aggravate the situation or embolden the terrorists and their accomplices.”
The letter signed by Mallam Aliyu Ibrahim, the Co-convener of the group, added: “our visit here today is essentially to add our voice of caution to those whose stock in trade is to wilfully denigrate and ultimately destroy the only indispensable and unifying institution in our dear country to be mindful of the dangers and consequences of your perfidy and to remind you that Nigerian is greater than them.
“Please be reminded that we are not your enemies or protagonists; we are rather your loyal readers who are concerned about your unfair reports and commentary against our cherished military. Thank you as you make amends beginning from today.”