The Nigerian Army has dismissed the report of killing and abduction of soldiers by Boko Haram terrorists along Gwoza-Bama Road in Borno State.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Tuesday condemned a section of the media for such report.
Some media platforms had reported on Sunday that 17 soldiers were killed in a confrontation with the terrorists around Banki Junction along Gwoza-Bama Road.
The report also added that some soldiers were also taken captive by the insurgents during the encounter.
Iliyasu said the reports were not true but simply the figments of the imaginations of their authors.
He however challenged the authors of the report to tell their audience precisely where the said casualties were and where such imaginary fight actually took place.
According to him, it is quite disappointing to also observe that some international organisations have equally fallen prey to the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province propaganda antics.
Iliyasu said: “It is pertinent to add that the Army Headquarters has keenly observed that fake news, particularly on security-related issues have become rampant from the inception of the New Year, 2020.
“It is therefore necessary to warn the perpetrators to desist from unnecessarily peddling false reports that are capable of undermining the counter terrorism and counter insurgency efforts in the North East.
“Contrary to some false insinuations making the rounds, the Maiduguri-Damaturu road as well as Bama-Gwoza road are some of the safest commuter roads with over 5,000 vehicles plying them daily.
“To this end, the Nigerian Army wishes to unequivocally state that the claims contained in the disjointed reports under reference and indeed any recent claims of heavy casualties on Nigerian Army troops are nothing but fake, malicious and frivolous news reports.
“We therefore request the general public to disregard them in their entirety.
“The Nigerian Army also wishes to call on the good people of the entire North East to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear.”
Iliyasu stated that the worst days of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were completely over, adding that the gallant troops had successfully reduced them to common criminals who are now fighting themselves for a hiding space.
He added that the troops’ efforts would not be deterred by sponsored false reports and insurgents’ propaganda being spread by some unpatriotic elements through fabricated media publications.
He said: “They have by their false, speculative and sensational reportage, continue to undermine national security either wittingly or unwittingly.
“In so doing, they are not only soiling the good reputation of some media professionals, but are indeed undermining the sacrificial efforts of the troops fighting the insurgents.
“This is clearly demonstrated in the fabricated or unsubstantiated reports under reference.
“The false reports, which could best be described as Yellow Journalism, have exposed the ignorance and the desperation of its authors and their unscrupulous but failed attempt at creating unnecessary security concerns where there is none.”