Terrorism War: 'Attempts to blackmail the military will continue to fail' - Group insists

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Chief of Army Staff, Maj. General Tukur Buratai

A civil society group has revealed plots by unscrupulous people to blackmail the Nigerian military in the war against terrorism.

A civil society group, the Centre For Social Justice, Equity and Transparency [CESJET], has restated that plots by some selfish individuals in the country to blackmail the Nigerian military will continue to fail.

CESJET made this declaration at a press conference held in Abuja where it said it had observed that there has been an escalation of activities targeted at destabilizing Nigeria in recent weeks, but that such attempts will continue to hit the rocks.

In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the group, Comrade Isaac Ikpa, the group said the success story of the Nigerian military on its campaigns against the insurgency is too golden to be dwarfed by some selfish individuals that are out to blackmail the leadership with falsehood and campaign of calumny.

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Comrade Ikpa observed that similar plots have been hatched in the past and had prompted CESJET and other civil society organizations with similar convictions, to rise up to the task of calling out those that want the country to fail.

"As we have seen in the renewed onslaught on the integrity of Nigeria, the new round of attack is focused on undermining the ability of the country to defend itself against external and internal threats," the statement begins.

Continuing, it reads further:

"This, we understand, is to be achieved by distracting and disorienting the military and security services such that they are either busy dealing with distractions or soldiers become overly conscious of threats and blackmail in a way that leaves them too worried to do their work.

From what we have observed, the plan has been well hatched between foreign interests and their local representatives. Some components of the plot have already been activated, some phases are in progress, while others are awaiting implementation.

The components we have become aware of through our contacts are;

1. The release and publication of fictitious and bogus reports by NGO affiliates of the detractors: these reports will make allegations of rights abuses against the military and would be given the widest international and local coverage possible.

2. A variant of the reports would claim that there has been a disproportionately high casualty on the part of the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram.

In the later stages of the plot, the detractors will procure the kind of weapons used by Nigerian troops and make same available to either actors of Boko Haram fighters for photo opportunities while some of the NGOs will then circulate pictures purporting to show captured weapons from the Nigerian military.

3. Exploitation of advisories by the diplomatic missions of several countries: routine advisories issued by countries to their nationals are to be exploited to create the impression that Boko Haram members have overpowered security operatives to take over several Nigerians cities and that they will soon be able to carry out large-scale attacks.

4. This component is not just to tarnish the military and the government but is also aimed at eroding investors' confidence in bringing business to Nigeria.

It is curious that this component has been activated at a time when the economy is in recovery mode.

5. Lying about routine postings and deployments: these unsavoury elements are also exploiting routine postings in the military to insinuate things that are not happening.

The objective of this is to ensure the Armed Forces are constrained from making routine changes for operational efficiency.

This was why such persons immediately began insinuating the worst when Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, former Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, was redeployed to Army Headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans.

6. Compromising and recruiting military personnel to become part of their macabre plot: not satisfied with the other areas in which they have done damages, it has now been confirmed that those behind these plots to discredit the military are scouting for military personnel that they will feature in 'exclusive interviews' and anonymous sources that they will use to attempt giving credibility to the lies they have been telling.

What was further found out about this component is that they have drawn up a list of soldiers with pending disciplinary issues whom they have convinced to take part in their lies so that they are can then claim they were being punished for speaking up as a way of blackmailing the military from handling their cases in the deserving professional manner.

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7. Manipulation of the news media: the services of western media conglomerates have been procured to run damaging stories on the Nigerian government and the military. 

The content of such stories would either accuse soldiers of rights abuses or insinuate that there has been a mutiny within the ranks.

While such stories have been a staple of several foreign news organizations, those behind the plot are counting on encouraging local news media to repeat their contents to be able to do maximum damage.

8. Fake News: Outright lies would be packaged and presented as news with the hope that massive damage can be done to the military and by extension, Nigeria as a whole."

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