The Nigerian Army has claimed that members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are maligning the institution by exploiting photos of phony soldiers caught by Nigerian army personnel recently.
Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, stated this a statement released in Abuja on Sunday.
Nwachukwu claimed that a man named Solomon Okafor of Radio Biafra, London had been spreading fake material on social media, accusing the military of complicity in the kidnapping of a family of ten in Kaduna State.
According to him, Okafor also claimed that around 87 percent of Nigerian military were kidnappers and bandits.
The story, according to Nwachukwu, was created by IPOB/ESN social media foot soldiers with the goal of maligning the Army.
He claimed the image circulating on social media was of phony soldiers (impostors) apprehended lately by troops of Operation Checkmate under the 81 Division in the Lagos-Ondo state axis.
Before handing over the suspects to the Nigeria Police, he said the operation was highly publicized in both new and traditional media.
“It is also crucial to emphasise that following troops’ successful exploits in unravelling and unmasking IPOB elements who have been masquerading as unknown gunmen and wreaking carnage against Ndigbo in South East Nigeria, IPOB/ ESN have severally attempted to use doctored graphic images, video footages and spurious narratives in online and social media campaigns to disparage the Nigerian army and bring her to disrepute.
“The author and his sponsors should note that no matter the campaign of calumny by IPOB and other fifth columnists, the Nigerian army will be undeterred and remains a cherished national institution that will continue to execute its constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, toward building a united nation.
“Members of the public are therefore urged to disregard this mindless and irresponsible propaganda clearly emanating from IPOB, aimed at promoting insecurity in the country,” he said.
The Army’s statement is coming on the heels of an equal accusation by Emma Powerful, spokesperson of the IPOB recently that the police, army, and other security agencies in the country were behind attacks in the South-East part of the country.
Powerful claimed attacks were being carried out by the security agencies with a view to blame it on IPOB and it’s military wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) with the aim of giving the separatist group a bad name among the public.