Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A group under the umbrella of National Democratic Front, (NDF)’ has cautioned against false reports about the armed forces of Nigeria, saying such reports are capable of heating up the polity and causing disaffection within the military.
NDF said recent reports about change of service chiefs in the country which turned out to be false should be avoided in order not to distract the military in the task of defending and securing the nation.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Bolaji Abdulkadir, the NDF said it is alarmed at the false reports about the armed forces of Nigeria in recent times, saying such development cannot be for the good of the nation’s democracy.
“Our reference is specifically to the hoaxes making the rounds about the service chiefs having been changed, sacked or about to be replaced.
“The first is that we observed that the stories are being published by outlets that have shown a track record of being sympathetic to the opposition or have fully aligned with the opposition in the past.
“This, for us, is an indication that the hoax is part of an elaborate plan that predated the general elections, which calls for concern knowing the extent of acrimony the opposition had displayed at that time,” the NDF stated.
It said the 20th anniversary of the nation’s transition from military dictatorship to civil rule is not the best time to focus unnecessary attention on the military.
The statement said obsessing about the military chiefs and their tenure at a time when there are other pressing issues of national development amounts to coup baiting.
The NDF further added that “such mind-set goes beyond irresponsible and is squarely in the territory of criminality.
“This strategy is uncharitable given that our military is undergoing reorganisation and professionalisation under President Buhari.”
The NDF said issues of military leadership, being a matter of national security, should not be reduced to a matter for beer-parlour talks, which appears to be the preferred platform for certain politicians to discuss national issues.
“The dynamics around those that have been doing much to secure the country from growing existential threats cannot be degraded to being placed on the same pedestal as those contemplating political manoeuvrings and permutations.
“We therefore see these conjectures and hoaxes being offloaded on Nigerians as an attempt to politicise the military, which we had condemned in the past and will continue to condemn because we know that it runs contrary to the wellbeing of the country,” the group stated.
It also warned those behind the fake news about change in military leadership to desist from spreading falsehood irrespective of what motivates them.