The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai says fake news not only poses threat to national security but makes the ongoing counter-terrorism operation in the North East more difficult.
In an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri, Buratai urged Nigerians to be patriotic and wary of false information, as well as condemn those behind it.
“It is inimical to national security; it is inimical to the morale of the troops, it is one of the demoralizing factors making the counterinsurgency operation more difficult.’’
Buratai, therefore, urged those spreading fake news on the ongoing operations, including a section of the media to desist from such.
He stated that terrorists survive on propaganda to get attention and spread their ideology as well as to create fear and the impression that they were “untouchable, invincible or have the capacity that they do not possess.’’
“Nigerians must be very careful not to fall for their antics by condemning their actions and propaganda and support the efforts of the military, especially the Nigerian army.
According to Buratai, the army, who is on the ground fighting the terrorists, bears the consequences of the fake news.
He recalled that after the recent attack on troops of 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele, many casualty figures on the part of the army was bandied.
“So many figures were bandied around but this is far, far from the figure.
“The figure so far has been 23, even it is one it is unfortunate, but to go out of the reality, to continue to spread false information is really unfortunate,’’ he said.