Soldiers Video: DHQ Warns Politicians, Social Media Handlers Against Fake News
The Defence headquarters yesterday warned politicians and their social media handlers to desist from misusing images and visuals of military personnel to campaign and promote their interests.
According to DHQ, this does not only present the armed forces in bad light, but can also sow seeds of distrust and instability.
The warning comes against the backdrop of two videos which has gone viral purportedly showing soldiers in the battlefield dancing and eulogizng one of the presidential candidates while the other video is disparaging another presidential candidate.
Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, who gave the warning in a statement, titled “Re: Videos of Soldiers Purported To Be Praising One Presidential Candidate While Insulting Another”, said: “For 23 years since 1999, the military has toiled night and day to protect and keep guard over Nigeria’s democracy.
”Thus, the same military cannot afford to be partisan or commit to any enterprise that would create disharmony in the polity.
“The attention of Defence Headquarters was drawn to two videos circulating online. The first video clip consciously portrays troops making merry and dancing to music purportedly in celebration and open endorsement of one presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections.
“The second video clip (with the same visuals as the first one) willfully shows troops supposedly dancing to a derogatory song that insults the personality of another presidential candidate.
“On the face value, the videos send a disturbing signal to members of the public and the political class in particular, as the videos seemingly connote partisanship by military personnel and by extension, the entire military establishment.
“On closer scrutiny, however, it is obvious that the original visual content (which was used for the two videos) was manipulated to produce the current ones in circulation.
“The original soundtrack of the videos was a usual morale boosting song that soldiers sing during military exercises or activities.
“Unfortunately, certain individuals who are unknown at this point, took the video and superimposed different songs on the visuals, which soon went viral, thereby creating the odious impression that soldiers were promoting the candidacy of a particular politician, while disapproving the another.”
“While it is within the right of individuals to create media content for political purposes, it is grossly disingenuous to appropriate video of a military activity and use same to create contents that portray the military as partisan, political and unprofessional.”
“This is particularly despicable as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections.”For 23 years since 1999, the military has toiled night and day to protect and keep guard over Nigeria’s democracy. Thus, the same military cannot afford to be partisan or commit to any enterprise that would create disharmony in the polity.