DEFENCE Headquarters (DHQ), Ministry of Defence has sharply criticized a May 23rd, 2014 report in the New York Times titled: “Nigeria’s Army Hampers Hunt for Kidnapped Girls,” describing it as ‘reckless, unprofessional’ and aimed at ‘disparaging and rubbishing the relentless efforts of Nigerian troops in the ongoing search and rescue operations to free the abducted Chibok girls.’
In a statement issued Tuesday signed by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, the Army said the report by Adams Nossiter was biased and “typical of the unfortunate approach adopted by a section of the foreign media organisations which have continued to feast on insinuations aimed at casting aspersions on the Nigerian military.
The assertion in the article that Nigerian military “is so poorly trained and armed, and so riddled with corruption” is clear indication that the reporter is too prejudiced to acknowledge the fact that this same Nigerian military have trained and conducted military exercises and operations alongside the military organisations of other nations in recent times and excelled. It is ironical that the anomalies so loudly touted in Mr. Nossiter’s article were not identified with the Nigerian military during such international outings.
“It is unfortunate that, rather than objectively examine the terrorism challenge currently confronting Nigeria’s transnational and contagious phenomenon; the writer preferred to uncannily engage in campaign of calumny to tarnish the reputation of the Nigerian military. The report by Nossiter has clearly unveiled his abysmal mediocrity arrogance and racist sentiments.
“Describing as a weak reed, a military that fought and sacrificed so much to extricate Liberia, a vital and longstanding ally of United States of America from the brinks of total collapse on two occasions, reveals the viciousness of the bias being displayed by Nossiter. This same Nigerian military, which Nossiter tried fruitlessly to ridicule fought valiantly and successfully to bring to an end, the civil war in Sierra Leone, a former British colony and ally. What about the successes in Darfur and Somalia? Has he also forgotten or is he so unaware of the gallantry of Nigerian soldiers when American troops were being mauled by rebels in Somalia in 1994? Has he quickly forgotten the contribution of the Nigerian military to the current peace being savoured in Mali?
“Indeed, these are benchmarks and indicators of the prowess of the Nigerian military which have gone down the annals of regional and global history and no amount of mischievous reportage from hack writers can undo these feats. Mr. Nossiter is noted to be so committed to reporting Nigeria in bad light judging by his previous articles on the country in the same medium. The New York Times is expected to note the racist disposition of this writer and always take his writings on Nigeria and Africa with a pinch of salt.”