The Nigerian Army has urged the public to disregard the claims by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) that it had captured military personnel and equipment in Lake Chad region.In a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State, spokesman of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Col. Timothy Antigha, said the video where the terrorists made the ‘propaganda’ was spurious. He stated that the claims were substantially debatable, while a few of them were information already in the public domain.
According to him, the task force has referenced a couple of ISWAP attacks on troops’ locations at Metele and Baga between December and January.He said: “There were causalities on personnel, while others were missing in action.“A sizable number of the equipment shown in the video has since been recovered or destroyed in situ.”
However, the Centre for Social Justice, Equality and Transparency has accused foreign media outfits of promoting the activities of the terrorists in Nigeria.
In a report presented at the weekend in Abuja by its Executive Director, Isaac Ikpa, the group revealed that in the course of their investigation, they were able to identify about 25 foreign media outlets covering the North East with majority of them from France and other French-speaking countries.
According to the document, the organisations operate in such a way that does not augur well for the Nigerian troops.The report further claimed that in most instances, the media outlets make unreasonable demands on the Nigerian authorities for clearance to go into the theatre of operations, and when declined, they allegedly resort to churning out unfavourable reports to their home countries.
He claimed: “The activities of the Nigerian Army have come under scrutiny of late with the news making the round of how it is losing its soldiers daily to Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
In the course of the research work, it was discovered that a couple of issues were responsible for the negative reportage of the fight against terrorism in North East Nigeria.
“The team of researchers was able to identify the influx of foreign media organisations in North East Nigeria under various nomenclatures and mostly attached to the myriads of international non-governmental organisations supposedly carrying out humanitarian work in the region.
Ikpa explained that the high presence of these organisations had constituted an encumbrance to the operations of the military in the fight against terrorism. He added that despite the challenge posed by them, the military had remained determined to bring to an end the insurgency in the volatile region