Abortion allegation: FG stands with military, dismisses agency’s report as fake news
Federal Government, yesterday, dismissed a report by an international news agency, alleging the military carried out thousands of abortions on victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
Speaking at the ongoing President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s scorecard series in Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described the report as fake news, warning it is capable of derailing the military’s efforts in fight against insecurity in the region.
The minister also cautioned Nigerians on dangers of fake news and disinformation. “I have had reason to speak on this at this forum, when I warned that fake news and disinformation constitute a clear and present danger to the 2023 election. However, fake news and disinformation, if not checked, can also have a negative impact on our nation’s ongoing fight against terrorism,” he said.
Mohammed questioned motive behind the report, noting that the agency quoted different figures and refused to name its sources in the alleged nine-year abortion programme.
He said: “As you are all aware, an international news agency, recently, reported that the Nigerian military, in its fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP, has been running a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the North East, ostensibly, according to the news agency, because the children of insurgents are predestined, by the blood in their veins, to one day take up arms against the Nigerian government and society.
“The story also claimed that 10,000 such abortions have been carried out, from 2013 to date, on women and girls. The news agency made this grave allegation without a scintilla of evidence, citing only anonymous sources and the reported review of phantom documents.”
The minister added: “The agency first put the figure at 12,000 before settling for 10,000. The Federal Government, hereby, categorically states that there is no ‘secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme’ being run by our military in the North East or anywhere across the country.
“We also, hereby, reject the accusation of running an abortion programme levelled at our military. We state categorically that this story is a scary instance of fake news and disinformation combined. The writers deserve an award in fiction writing.”