By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE
THE Defence Headquarters has frowned at a newspaper publication on Friday, 8 January, alleging that over 3000 re-engaged soldiers have embarked on hunger strike for not posting them back to their former units saying “It is an abomination.”
In a statement at the weekend by the Director, Defence Information, (DDI) Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar in Abuja said the story was not only false, but not a true reflection of the situation among the affected soldiers.
He said, “To put the record straight, the soldiers are enthusiastic and full of praises to the military authority that gave them another chance to re-unite with the folk for better services to their fatherland.
It is worrisome that a reputable newspaper of national outlook (not National Daily) would source its story from unreliable social media without corroboration with relevant authorities to ascertain the veracity of the news.
“It is more worrisome when such unsubstantiated story borders on national security. This practice negates the ethics of journalism and is grossly unprofessional. Information that threatens national security should be avoided and efforts should be intensified to confirm from highest authority before going to press.
Brig Gen Abubakar cautioned the media to “avoid fuelling tension, no matter the inherent personal gains,” especially now that everybody has joined hands against Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is a taboo for military personnel to embark on strike or to do any of such things the newspaper reported. It has never happened and will not happen because we are disciplined, professional and highly loyal to the constituted authority. Such behaviour could only occur within unprofessional soldiers, and certainly not Nigerian military.
The DDI reiterated his commitment to respond to journalists call saying that “his door is widely open” to clarify issues that border on defence and national security matters.