DHQ accuses Reuters of blackmail

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    Defence Headquarters ( DHQ), Abuja, has accused the British news organisation Reuters of trying to extort money from the Nigerian military through what it called “mercenary journalism”.

    The Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

    Akpor said the news outlet wrote that it was working on a series of stories about purported actions of the Nigerian military during the government’s 13-year war against Islamist insurgents in Nigeria’s North-East.

    “He said that Reuters had indicated to work on supposed stories that were purported to focus on supposed military-run programme of forced abortions performed on women and girls who were held captive and impregnated by Islamist militants.

    The second, according to him, is a supposed killing of children by the military as part of counterinsurgency operations.

    “The Defence spokesman further said that the Reuters report was to also allege that since 2013 Nigeria’s military had run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s North-East terminating at least 12,000 pregnancies among women and girls.

    According to him, Reuters also alleged that many children were shot, poisoned, suffocated or run down by vehicles in army-led actions.

    “He added that the report was to allege that soldiers selected babies and toddlers for killing after rescuing them and their mothers from Islamist militants, amongst other weighty concocted allegations.

    Akpor said that news outlet further alleged that the key motive for supposedly carrying out the abortions was allegedly the notion that the children of Islamist militants, because of the blood in their veins, would one day follow in their father’s footsteps and take up arm against the Nigerian government and society.

    Reacting to these allegations, the two-star general said “wickedness really runs in the veins of some people and it surely runs deep in the veins of the Reuters team that concocted such evil for interrogation”.

    According to him, “the fictitious series of stories actually constitute a body of insults on the Nigerian people and culture for no people or culture in Nigeria practices such evil as dreamt up by the Reuters team.

    He said, “Irrespective of the security challenges we face as a nation, Nigerian peoples and cultures still cherish life.

    “Hence, Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives, even at their own risk especially, when it concerns the lives of children, women and the elderly.

    “This much is reflected in Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), Concepts of Operations, Rules of Engagements (ROEs) and other documents that guide military operations.

    “Hence, nowhere has the Nigerian military operated – Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, [Darfur] Sudan, Gambia and Guinea Bissau, amongst others —  that there was any trace or allegation of infanticide.

    “The Nigerian military will not, therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime and surely not on our own soil.

    “The Nigerian military will not also deliberately plan to target children during its counterinsurgency operations or other operations, both within and outside Nigeria,” Akpor said.


    Queen Ferry
    Queen Ferry
    Chinyere Treasure Ikechukwu known professionally as Queen Ferry, is a Nigerian business Executive, Journalist and Content Editor. She serves as the Vice-Chairman of Naijatraffic Limited and also the CEO of Wakadaily. If Treasure is not blogging, she will be making delicious delicacy.

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