The #BringBackOurGirls coalition has demanded verifiable evidence of victories over Boko Haram insurgents from the military authorities, noting that accurate reporting in times of war is a critical tool for winning battles.
The group said the military should provide photos, videos and other evidences to show that it was making progress in the war against terrorism in the country.
The #BBOG, in a statement to mark the second week of its ‘sixweekscountdown’ to the war against terrorism and rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls, on Sunday in Abuja, said the Federal Government and the military should know that they have credibility deficit due to misinformation in the past.
The statement read by Tunji Olanrewaju on behalf of the BBOG Coordinator, Oby Ezekwesili, also flayed what it called the conflicting signals on the renewed offensive in the northeast, noting that some Presidential aides discountenanced a statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that normalcy may be restored in the area within six weeks.
It said, “All reportage of the Nigerian military’s triumphs currently quotes a single source— the defence spokesman, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade. The news reports refer to the Spokesperson’s press releases and not on the strength of any independently verified information or direct media investigation.
“We therefore demand that the Defense Headquarters takes immediate steps to provide, alongside its releases, as much on the ground evidence of its battlefront actions and successes; that is, verifiable images and audiovisuals from the battle grounds.
“For instance, the Chadian military’s liberation of Dikwa in Borno left no one in doubt with abundant visuals of their victory reported independently. Not quoting a Chadian military spokesperson. This stirred up a victorious spirit and stronger confidence in the operations.
“Our government and the military must come to terms and appreciate that presently, they have an integrity/credibility deficit, due to the litany of misinformation, disinformation, inconsistencies and outright falsehoods in the past. Accurate reporting in times of war is a critical tool for winning battles.”
The group wondered if military intelligence was lagging in the light of ongoing attacks by Boko Haram.
The coalition said it learnt from military sources that the current offensives were meant to keep Boko Haram at bay, because the Multi-National Joint Taskforce is yet to deploy troops, and questioned the wisdom behind the six weeks timeline for the offensive against the insurgents.
“Given the history of failed promises and dashed hopes for Nigerians, especially the Chibok parents, we wish to advise our Presidency to do the utmost to avoid a repeat of the unsavoury past,” the BBOG said.
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