The fact check at Nigeriandefender.com has been monitoring fake reports emanating from the fatal attack on the 157 Task Force Battalion of the Nigerian Army by the Boko haram insurgents on 18 November 2018.
The Nigerian Army has confirmed that the attack did take place but so many rumors, fake news and outright lies has been trending on the social media space. NigerianDefender.comhas observed that some elements on social media has been pulling videos and pictures from movies and depicting same as pictures from the attack.
Subsequently the Army has responded to the fake news and set the matter straight. According to a press release by the army with the caption “Press Release On The Attack On 157 Task Force Battalion Defensive Location At Metele In Guzamala Local Government Area Of Borno State”
“The attention of the NA has been drawn to several social media, print, electronic and online publications about the recent attack on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele. Whilst it is true that there was an attack on the location on 18 November 2018, it has however, become necessary to correct several misinformation being circulated with regards to this unfortunate event”.
“It is important for the public to note that the NA has laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who fall casualty in action. Out of respect for the families of our gallant troops, the NOKs are first notified before any form of public information so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear, were they to discover such from unofficial sources”.
“Furthermore, it suffices to observe that several social media, print and online publications have been brandishing false casualty figures as well as circulating various footages of old and inaccurate BHT propaganda videos and alluding same to be the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion. Whilst it is understandable how such misinformation can spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilize the situation”.
“The NA sincerely, wishes to thank the various arms of government, MDAs and sister security agencies that have stood with her in these trying times; by commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes who have paid the supreme price for the defence of our dearly beloved country. The necessary support being given the NA by the Federal Government and the goodwill of the Nigerian populace will undoubtedly continue to spur the NA towards the ultimate defeat of the highly degraded BHTs”.
“This is for your information please”.
“You are kindly requested to disseminate same through your various media channels”.
Nigeriandefender.com also gathered that Political opposition to the federal government of Nigeria has also been fingered as weaponizing the attack for political gains ahead of the 2019 elections; this report was published on Reuters in an article titled “Ahead of Nigeria’s election, opposition weaponises soldier deaths”.