B’Haram: Unpatriotic elements helping psychological war against troops –Army

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Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai

The increasing attacks on the troops of the Nigerian Army by Boko Haram terrorists have been enhanced by the use of psychological weapon, the Nigerian Army has declared.

This, it said, was contrary to the belief in some quarters that it was because the terrorists were better equipped than Nigerian soldiers.

It stressed that psychology was more potent in the war than any other weapon.

The Nigerian Army said that some individuals in the society had not helped matters as they propagated the falsehood promoted by Boko Haram.

The position of the Nigerian Army is contained in the statement issued by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The statement reads in a part:  “The attacks on NA troops are not as a result of superior arms or equipment, rather it is due to the use of psychological weapon which is as good as any lethal weapons. The psychological attacks have been further aggravated by some unpatriotic elements in the society that take joy and pride in propagating such falsehoods.”

The Nigerian Army said it was unfortunate that those who should know better were the ones perpetrating the acts.

“The psychological effects of spreading misinformation and fake news are grievous and inimical to national security and should not be allowed to continue,” the statement reads further.

The Nigerian Army emphasized its determination to remain responsive and professional in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities.

The statement reads in full:

MILITARY ISSUES ARE NOT ALL COMERS AFFAIRS

  1. The Nigerian Army (NA) has observed with concern the recent negative reportage and criticisms of her activities in the social and mainstream media especially as it relates to equipment and attacks on troops’ locations in Operation LAFIYA DOLE. It is further observed that some individuals and groups in and outside Nigeria have been making false claims and allegations that Boko Haram terrorists are better equipped than the Armed Forces Nigeria (AFN). Nothing can be further from the truth as the AFN have universally accepted doctrines, are better trained, equipped and well -motivated. Therefore, there is no basis for comparison between the Nigerian soldier and the Boko Haram terrorists. Whereas the Nigerian military system is voluntary and enlistment or commission are borne out of patriotism and love for the country, the terrorists on the other hand are indoctrinated and in most cases coerced to take up arms against the state and humanity.
  2. These issues are further exacerbated by a section of the media, possibly at the behest of some disgruntled elements in the society. The attacks on NA troops are not as a result of superior arms or equipment, rather it is due to the use of psychological weapon which is as good as any lethal weapons. The psychological attacks have been further aggravated by some unpatriotic elements in the society that take joy and pride in propagating such falsehoods.
  3. It is surprising that some Nigerians, for whatever mundane reasons, would compare a group of confused and misguided elements operating under the influence of drugs and warped ideologies to NA troops. It will be necessary to observe that unlike the NA, the terrorists live amongst the populace and used that opportunity to spread their propaganda. NA fights according to set down ROE while the BHT does not. Also, while the NA seeks to protect lives and properties, the renegades seek to destroy same.
  4. Our conviction is that these negative comments about the NA are aimed at demoralizing the troops and breaking its cohesion. They are borne out of selfish, political and unpatriotic reasons with a view to bringing down the government of the day. We totally condemn and reject the insinuations that the BHT are better equipped than the NA. Rather, we are bold to say and re-affirm that NA troops are better trained, equipped and better motivated than the rag-tag BHT. Indeed, there are no basis for comparison.
  5. It should be realized that the use of psychological attack on the NA is as potent as the use of arms and ammunition. Unfortunately, the psychological attacks are not being waged against the NA by the BHT alone but also by some misguided elements both within and out of the country, either under the guise of humanitarian and Human Rights concerns or low morale. Far from that, most of these false allegations were based on selfish and mostly political reasons by unpatriotic elements. Despite extant rules, these group of persons discuss highly classified military issues which they are mostly ignorant about on various media platforms. Indeed, those who should know better are the ones perpetrating these acts. The psychological effects of spreading misinformation and fake news are grievous and inimical to national security and should not be allowed to continue. Conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice as being exhibited by few misguided soldiers should not be misconstrued as a failure on the part of the military or the government.
  6. Military equipment and welfare are known issues in the NA, and when such problems are observed, appropriate steps are taken to remedy them. The President has provided for NA in terms of welfare and equipment. Nigerians are enjoined to note that military issues are not all comers’ affairs. The Nigerian Army will always address its challenges and will take charge of any issue without any external prompting, criticism or condemnation. We will remain responsive and professional in the discharge of our constitutional responsibilities.