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Boko Haram, ISWAP terrorists now resort to video propaganda, says Army

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Faced with the obvious reality of defeat and inability to carry out attacks that have hitherto been their strategy to assert relevance in the eyes of the public, army authorities have said that Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) now resort to cheap propaganda to seek relevance.

This is even as the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) has assured the Nigerian Armed Forces of the Federal Government’s efforts towards galvanising their capabilities to deliver on their national defence and security mandate.

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According to the Army spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, the resort to propaganda by the terrorists was as a result of the sustained and well-coordinated military bombardments from both land and air components of Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK).

He said: “This sustained operation has exerted so much pressure on the terrorists and their sympathisers, whose only available weapon now, is cheap and uncoordinated propaganda.

“In recent times, a good number of these terrorists have surrendered to troops in different locations across the theatre, a trend that indicates that they are loosing the capacity to remain in the fight. Apparently, there are indications that their fighting capability has been severely encumbered by devastating depletion, with their remnants deserting various enclaves, leaving behind a few diehards that will undoubtedly be eliminated by the highly spirited troops of OPHK in no distant future.”

He said that in a bid to replenish their fast depleting fighting force and clandestinely conscript unsuspecting individuals to join their fold, Boko Haram embarked on a subtle recruitment drive using the said propaganda video to portray a lavish lifestyle in their so-called fortress; a psychological strategy desperately deployed to attract impressionable youths and unsuspecting individuals.

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“A cursory look at the video revealed an amateur work of doctored old clips and images from different backgrounds, skewed with blurred imageries that are incoherent and illogical. The incontrovertible reality is that the group is facing imminent destruction and extinction. Contrary to the false impression they attempt to project of a blissful live in their enclaves, the true situation in their evil enclave is one of hunger, disease, brutality, high level of immorality and the constant fear of military offensives. This is largely responsible for the terrorists’ turning in their arms in droves as the gallant troops of OPHK are rendering their enclaves uninhabitable with fierce offensives. What the terrorists did not tell their target audience is that their fighters and family members are currently surrendering to the troops in multitudes, laying down their arms and renouncing their membership of the evil organisation and that they were misled in joining in the first place.

“As a matter of fact, most of the terrorists who surrendered to the troops lamented that the condition in their enclaves have become too harsh and completely unbearable that they had no option than to give themselves up to troops. This is the reality of the situation that confronts every BHT member, contrary to the make-belief and propaganda they conjured up in the video.

“The Nigerian Army (NA) being a professional force, adheres to extant laws and international best practices, particularly the provisions that relate to a situation when an adversary surrenders. This informed the acceptance of some BHT members who laid down their arms and willfully denounced violent campaigns.  The NA will however not hesitate to subdue unrepentant BHTs who are still fanning the embers of violence in the North East.

“While carrying out its constitutional mandate, the NA will continue to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria in furtherance of peace and stability in the West African Sub-region. Therefore, individuals or groups who have fallen to the antics of BHTs’ clandestine recruitment drive, projected through the propaganda video are advised to surrender themselves and their weapons to the nearest military or security forces outfit or risk testing the might of the ongoing counter insurgency operations,” he said.

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The Defence Minister, Magashi, who spoke as a special guest of honour at the commissioning ceremony of the 56 block of flats and 56 Boys’ Quarters of the First National Defence College, (NDC) Directing Staff Quarters at its permanent site in Piwoyi, Abuja, said the government would ensure sufficient equipment, adequate trainings and continuous motivation for military officers and personnel at all times.

He said the Ministry of Defence under his watch would continue to support the National Defence College.

Magashi, who had served as Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), described NDC as a cerebral centre of excellence that deserves all the necessary funding and logistics support to facilitate its relocation to its permanent site.

He told the management of the college that President Muhammadu Buhari was solidly behind the institution, pointing out that the completion of the nine-storey edifice was yet another demonstration of the Federal Government’s resolve to improve the welfare of the officers, personnel and civilian elements.

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