By Stanley Onyekwere
The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria (CATE) has described as false some reports that the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) has taken control of some territory in the country.
Recall that the media was awash with news that the sect known as ‘Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad’ defeated the Nigerian military and captured some areas in the northeast.
CATE in a statement signed by National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, on Monday, noted that the reports revealed that the group is in full control of Marte, headquarters of Marte local government area of Borno state, western coast of Lake Chad.
It added that like other fake news, there was no detailed explanation of what exactly transpired on Sunday as the report was based on mere speculation.
While urging a section of the media and others in the business of spreading falsehood to retrace their steps, CATE, however, enjoined the Nigerian troops not to be deterred by the propaganda.
“Based on facts obtained from on the ground assessment, the story of the purported capture of Marte was found to be aimed at derailing the war against terrorism with intent to demoralize government troops that are carrying out the operation with selfless sacrifices that have earned the country respite from the scourge of Boko Haram.
“The publication of the misleading story is a red flag that a new propaganda offensive has been launched against the Nigerian Armed Froces with a view to boosting the morale of Boko Haram terrorists.
“We urge the professional media organizations to continue adhering to the time-tested tenets of journalism that is built around objectivity, fairness balance and due consideration for national interest and the general public good.
“We urge the Nigerian military to keep up its punishing onslaught against the terrorists that had thought they could make life unbearable for Nigerians.
“The recourse to lies by supporters of the terrorists is not enough to invalidate the divine mandate that the Niegrian Armed Forces have to liberate the country from its enemies,” the statement added.