The Nigerian Army has threatened to sue purveyors of fake videos and other images, in connection with the recent Boko Haram attack on troops at Metele in Borno State.
It was the second response by the army in 24 hours since the attack on 18 November.
The army in a Facebook post expressed concern over indiscriminate circulation of series of fake video footage on social media platforms, an action which creates fear and unrest in the society.
It dismissed the videos as ‘false’, explaining that they do not portray the situation on ground, stressing that such videos served the purpose intended by the insurgents to misinform; spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and undermine national security.
“The Nigeria Army has continued to observe with great dismay the myriads of photos and video clips being recklessly distributed on various social media platforms by different caliber of persons.
“It is indeed shocking to see how these well-doctored propaganda materials from enemies of the state succeeded in creating fear and unrest in the polity.
“These doctored materials are obviously serving the purposes intended by the terrorists to misinform the populace; spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and undermine national security.
“The Nigeria Army wants to categorically state that the videos and images making rounds as the purported attack on Metele base are false and do not in any way portray the reality of the situation on the ground,” it said.
The Nigerian Army headquarters lamented that many do not know that in discretionary posts and comments from a citizen that is supposed to be solidly behind its military in trying times could dampen troops’ morale.
The Army reiterated its commitments to the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity, maintaining that the sanctity of the Nigerian state would not be undermined by detractors or tacit supporters of the enemies.
It warned that it would not condone act of spreading fake news as it violate the provisions of the cyber crime laws.
“While appreciating the concerns of well meaning Nigerians, who genuinely care for the well being of military personnel, the Nigerian Army wants to draw the attention of its detractors to the fact that spreading fake news is an offense and violation of Section 24 (1) (a & b); and (2) (a), (b), (c), (i), (ii) of the Cyber-crimes Prohibition and Prevention Act, 2015.
“In view of this, please note that the Nigeria Army, henceforth, report the infractions and file case against individuals or groups who deliberately spread fake news that aim to undermine national security in courts of competent jurisdictions.
“Equally; the Nigeria Army wishes to inform the public of its iReport channels on the NA website, android and iOS platforms through which members of the public can forward meaningful advice, criticism or observations that would enable it to better serve the good people of Nigeria”.