The Nigerian Army has threatened to take legal action against those who share pictures and videos of troops killed in action.
The threat comes after recent killing of soldiers in the North East by Boko Haram.
In a press statement released by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the Army condemned the “indiscriminate sharing on social media of graphic pictures of personnel who paid the supreme price in the cause of defending and protecting the country from its adversaries”.
In recent times, the Army has tried to control the narrative of the fight against Boko Haram on social media. It has also been more involved in denying news published by media platforms as fake news. This consistent involvement in public relations control has increased the suspicion around the truthfulness of the army in reporting the situation of things at the battle front.
The army described the act of sharing pictures and videos of its men at the war front as “not only unpatriotic but very insensitive and utterly reprehensible”.
Brigadier General Yerima went on to say that “what is most unfathomable is the glee with which some people share the gory pictures of officers and soldiers who are either killed-in-action or Wounded-in-action in the media”.
“These unpatriotic acts are often done without any modicum of consideration for the memories of the departed personnel or their family members,” hhe said.
The recent attack on the Nigerian Army by members of Boko Haram, which left 33 soldiers dead, led to a public uproar when it was learnt that the terrorists had disguised in the uniform of the Army.
The reported air strike on Nigerian soldiers by the Nigerian Air Force, in what was an error, further left a bad public perception of the ongoing war. Twenty soldiers who were sent as reinforcement were said to have died as a result.
While there is no known constitutional right by the Army to stop individuals or organisations from publishing pictures or videos of the ongoing war, Yerima further said: “The Nigerian Army considers this despicable and unpatriotic act totally unacceptable and will henceforth take legal actions to protect troops who die in action from being ridiculed on social media or any platform.”
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