The Nigerian Army has said members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are using pictures of fake soldiers arrested by Nigerian army troops recently to malign the institution.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
According to Nwachukwu, one Solomon Okafor of Radio Biafra London had been peddling malicious disinformation and falsehood on social media, alleging complicity by troops in a fictitious case of the kidnapping of a family of 10 in Kaduna State.
He said the said Okafor also alleged that about 87 per cent of Nigerian soldiers were kidnappers and bandits.
Nwachukwu said the said report was a creation of IPOB/ESN social media foot soldiers, with the intent to malign the Nigerian army.
He said the picture being circulated on social media was a picture of fake soldiers (impostors) who were arrested recently in the Lagos-Ondo states axis by troops of Operation Checkmate under the 81 Division.
He noted that the operation was widely publicised in both the new and traditional media before handing over the suspects to the Nigeria Police.
“It is also crucial to emphasise that following troops’ successful exploits in unravelling and unmasking IPOB elements who have been masquerading as unknown gunmen and wreaking carnage against Ndigbo in South-East Nigeria, IPOB/ ESN have severally attempted to use doctored graphic images, video footages and spurious narratives in online and social media campaigns to disparage the Nigerian army and bring her to disrepute.
“The author and his sponsors should note that no matter the campaign of calumny by IPOB and other fifth columnists, the Nigerian army will be undeterred and remains a cherished national institution that will continue to execute its constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, toward building a united nation.
“Members of the public are therefore urged to disregard this mindless and irresponsible propaganda clearly emanating from IPOB, aimed at promoting insecurity in the country,” he said.