The Coalition of Conflict Resolution and Human Rights (CCGRN) in Nigeria has frowned at the subsequent reports of French newswire, Reuters in projecting the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North east.
The group who in high terms condemned the reportage, said the foreign media is leveraging on the activities of the terrorists in the region to distabilise Nigeria with false, malicious, unsubstantiated and fabricated piece of news concerning the efforts of the Nigerian military’s fight against the Boko Haram group.
The National Coordinator, Barr Maxwell Gowon, who made this known yesterday during a press briefing in Abuja said the CCGRN is aware that Nigeria’s defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali told Reuters last month that the country has been stable for the past three years which can easily be verified.
According to him, “the case of Gudumbali is an example of the mischief that Reuters has continued to perpetuate with fanfare.
Barr Gowon however called on Reuters to go on a tour to North east with its reporters, photojournalists and editors inorder to have a better insight into the great sacrifice the Nigerian army has put to ensure that peace returns to the region.
In a press statement issued during the briefing, CCGRN however commended the efforts of the army in leberating towns and villages that were under the control of the terrorists.
The statement read in part, “What we are raising alarm about today will appear to be an attack on the media but we want to assure you that it is far from being an attack on the media but rather a drawing of attention to surreptitious entities taking on the garb of the media. Any organization that doesn’t support humanity cannot be associated with the tenets of journalism that is in the first instance aimed at building and promoting the enthronement of a just society for all.
In the course of time, some of us might have noticed the way some so called international media have been helping us beat the drums of war, urging on Nigeria and Nigerians to embark on self-destruction while packaging such call to harm as professional reporting. Of particular note in recent weeks are Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and some television networks with a few international newspaper titles. Of course there are also the NGOs they use for validating the toxic notions they spread across the world.
These organizations, led by Reuters and AFP, have been running reports to the effect that Boko Haram terrorists have again occupied territories in the country, that the group is winning and other stories that give impressions that openly conflict with the realities we have monitored on ground in Borno and neighbouring states. To put it mildly, Reuters, AFP and some international networks only stopped short of romanticising and glorifying Boko Haram’s brand of terrorism, apparently because it is not a western country that is involved.
Whatever obsession they have with Nigeria and an agenda to make the country into hell did not just start in recent weeks, it is not limited to Boko Haram. It is something long running, which the authorities in Nigeria would have to unravel at some point if they want this country to have peace. They have pulled this same tactics during ethno-religious crises when, against all known ethical benchmarks, they usually report to contrast Muslim-Christian death tolls; the consequence of which was a non-stop desire to exact vengeance and even the toll on each side – something that guaranteed the crises remain intractable.
In further acts to foment trouble, these newswires consistently report outlawed or proscribed terror groups to appear like people that are being persecuted. Yet, we know that Reuters, AFP and others would not report National Action, a far-right neo-Nazi organisation in the United Kingdom, with the same tolerance it shows for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). Neither will they commit such outrage by being accommodating of the Ku Klux Klan commonly called the KKK in the United States. We authoritatively state this because we had commissioned a detailed comparative study of how unacceptable groups are reported by these entities in respective countries and the conclusion is that they report to support destructive groups in certain countries while a positive mention of unacceptable groups is a taboo in the other countries.
The same pattern has been documented in the reporting of terrorism. Reuters, AFP and others practically condone acts of terror without any hint of recrimination against perpetrators when the crime is committed against Nigeria and other countries while the slightest attack against western countries. We can cite a very recent example: a story “Nigerian military struggles against Islamic State in West Africa: sources” published by Reuters this month read from beginning to the end without once mentioning the words “terror, terrorism, terrorists” but instead preferred to refer to Boko Haram members as “militants”. This is Reuters’ way of questioning the globally agreed fact that Boko Haram is the world most deadly terror group.
These newswires, in gross violation of the terror legislation of their originating countries, are in partnership with Boko Haram. In the United States and the United Kingdom, even with the benefit of the guaranteed liberties, it would be criminal to spread terrorist propaganda. But this has become a pastime for these organizations in Nigeria. They are always on the ready to promote Boko Haram’s sick videos but yet, social media networks in the country they came from are being pressured to take down terrorist contents and they are complying with a high degree. What then makes the case of Nigeria different that these newswires believe they are at liberty to operate as the Public Affairs arm of Boko Haram?
Further uncovered that Reuters, AFP and the networks they work with have an agreed template to criminalize law enforcement and military agencies in Nigeria. The pattern we have confirmed is that once the military is making gains against terrorists the NGOs working with these newswires are activated to accuse them of rights abuses. When troops are then coerced into observing an impossible level of caution to avoid collateral casualties the newswires jump in to allege “military losses” to terrorists. The circle has been repeated so often that it now has a rhythmic boredom to it. We have compared this irresponsible behaviour with what is obtainable in countries being occupied by the host nations of these newswires and discovered that they will never report in a way to place the armies of these countries in the wrong or to appear weak.
The challenge to these criminal newswires is for them to dare apply the same benchmark they have applied to the Nigerian Military and security forces to the police departments in the United States, where citizens are routinely murdered by cops even when that country is not officially at war. Let Reuters dare use the same template it uses to report Boko Haram to report the sick gun violence in the United States and see its ratings collapse.
Gentlemen of the press, if you think the foregoing is bad enough, what we discovered in the course of our comparative studies should send fear through the entire country as part of a larger plot to make the country appear too unstable to hold elections early next year. This is obviously a rehash of the strategy that led to elections being postponed in 2015 after their successful scare mongering. These newswires have perfected plans to further heighten tension in Nigeria using special reports on Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary as the anchor.
To achieve this nefarious objective:
1. They have identified and compromised certain individuals within the military and security forces, who will stage-supply them with classified and operational military information. The reports that will lead to fake mutiny that will again give rise to more damaging report.
2. Increased logistics support to Boko Haram terrorists that will spawn more attempted attacks on military outposts. The terrorists are presently being encouraged to resume attacking civilians. Both instances are to be used to craft reports that will undermine security in Nigeria.
3. IMN, IPOB and the Niger Delta militants have been contacted to activate a new phase of the agenda they had been coached to implement. The start of this activation is proven by the increased violent disposition of these groups in recent days.
4. Once these plots are activated with the special reports beginning from September 30, 2018 the plot is to ensure that there is an incremental spiral into total chaos between the start date and March 2019 so that the country would be left in a constitutional limbo.
5. Reuters and AFP have flown in “special editors” into Nigeria to actualize these objectives.
These are revelations we are not taking for granted hence our decision to call the attention of Nigerians to this impeding danger from Reuters, AFP and their collaborators. Our hope is that the Federal Government of Nigeria will take the necessary steps to verify the existence of this evil plot and neutralize it accordingly. It is imperative to be mindful of those masquerading as foreign media and their agents to destabilize the peace of our country.
As responsible citizens, we urge the Nigerian Militrary, the Defence Intelligence and the Nigerian media to take this briefing as serious. The conspiracy by Boko Haram sponsors fronted by Reuters and AFP to truncate the war against terrorism is real and its implementation is about to be escalated. We are therefore appealing for increased vigilance to ensure that civilians are not placed in harm’s way by this evil plot.
As a human rights monitor, we shall continue to do our best to ensure that no group of persons under any guise is allowed to run Nigeria into trouble waters like past experiences have shown.