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Upbeat military hails public support, slams critics

05 March 2015, 12:20Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - The Military has welcomed the support received from members of the public during the recent successes gained over the Boko Haram terrorists.

Officials, who however denounced some media’s reportage of the breakthroughs, said the support had boosted the armed forces’ morale in their quest to end the insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1 million people.

The military issued what is arguably its most poignant statement since the advent of the terror in 2009.

“We wish to use this forum to acknowledge the tremendous show of solidarity and support being expressed by the generality of Nigerian public to the Nigerian military. This gesture of goodwill and understanding in the past weeks has been of tremendous encouragement to all well-wishers of the Armed Forces,” Chris Olukalade, Director Defence Information in the Military, said in a statement.

“Irrespective of the skepticism of ardent critics and cynics in and out of the country, this recent show of solidarity has proved to be a great morale booster.  The sight of every segment of the Nigerian society coming out in unison to cheer and celebrate the modest achievement of the nation’s forces is inspiring indeed.”

Also Read: Chad president tells Boko Haram leader to surrender or face death

The Military thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, who is Commander-in-Chief, for the confidence he reposed on his troops and for the support and encouragement he had always extended to the military.

“We thank the cross section of the political class for their kind words of encouragement and equally appreciate the wonderful effort of the media and some civil society groups who organized rallies and marches both in Abuja and Lagos to express support for the military.”

However, while these support and show of love are being savoured, the attitude and activities of segments of the society who are still hell bent on undermining the morale of the military’s fighting force by deliberately playing down the operational successes so far achieved remained very unfortunate, the Military said in the statement.

“In a bid to spitefully drown the efforts of our troops, this group of people have been mischievously and exaggeratingly reporting the supportive roles of foreign allies to the detriment of our operational success in the fight against terror.  

“They go to every extent to ridicule, taunt or project every falsehood, purely to score some points in the clandestine sympathy for the terrorists. This unpatriotic posture is directly or indirectly undermining the esteemed status of Nigeria in the comity of nations.”

The Military hence said the need had arisen for “a call on the media to beware of the mischief and conspiracy by some theorists who are still bent on orchestrating a well-rehearsed smear campaign against the Nigerian military.”

“They have been struggling to attribute the recent defeats inflicted on the terrorists to the invincibility of other forces or military outfits other than Nigeria’s.

"The truth of the matter is that the current turn of the tide against the terrorists is an initiative conceived and is being driven by the Nigerian military but enjoying the backing of the reinvigorated Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which has troops from Niger, Chad and Cameroon.”  

- CAJ News


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