- Reuters report on running a secret mass abortion programme in the northeast has been condemned by a human rights organisation
- The organisation said that the report by the newspaper is aimed at undermining the activities of the Nigerian Military to end terrorism in Nigeria
- According to the organisation, the Reuters' report corroborates the position of several agencies and individuals on the role of France in fueling the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria
The African Centre for Human Rights And Protection has dismissed Reuters' claim that the Nigerian military ran a secret mass abortion programme in the northeast.
The Centre said the report lacked substance but was an insult to Nigeria as a country and its people.
The executive director, Fabian Nyiakula, said the Centre came to this conclusion after carrying out an extensive analysis of the operations of the Armed Forces in the northeast.
Nyiakula, speaking at a press conference in Abuja, accused Reuters of mischief, undermining the Nigerian military and the nation.
"The Nigerian Army does not detain women and children victims of the Boko Haram onslaught. Instead, it is a known fact that upon rescuing women and children from Boko Haram camps, these women and children are availed of medical assistance in designated and recognized health facilities, not detention camps, as erroneously claimed by Reuters.
"The puerile attempt by Reuters to paint the Nigerian Army in a bad light must have stemmed from the recent gains recorded in the prosecution of the war against terrorism, which by all indications is not appreciated by the promoters of Reuters.
"The report also corroborates the position of several organizations and individuals on the role of France in fueling the Boko Haram conflict in the North East region. For Reuters to assume that the abortion programme has been in operation since 2013 indicates that Reuters has elected to be clever by half.
"The implication of the action Reuters is that this imagined abortion programme went unnoticed by the hundreds of Non-governmental organizations working in North East Nigeria, including reputable United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations that have assisted in significant measures in assisting victims of Boko Haram brutality on unarmed civilians.
he added that Reuters contradicted itself when it alluded that aspects of the Nigerian Army’s abortion programme remain murky.
This he said is because of the secrecy involved, it is impossible to know precisely how many abortions were done.
"Interviews and documents suggest the count could be significantly higher than the tally of at least 10,000 cases that Reuters was able to establish.
"The question thus is how Reuters arrived at such a conclusion when it claimed that the report was based on 33 women and girls interviewed.
"This defeats common sense hence why the report should be discarded in its entirety for lacking in substance, but propaganda aimed at distracting the Nigerian Army in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram terrorists in North East Nigeria.
"We believe this diatribe against the Nigerian Army is petty and aimed at bouncing back to relevance after most of its reportage on Nigeria had been faulted or debunked for lacking evidence."
The Centre, therefore, advised Reuters to come to terms with the reality that Nigerians do not welcome or entertain half-truths.
"The plot is poor, the storyline is kindergarten, and the execution is puerile. It attempted in vain to present a precarious situation, but without realizing that this new attempt at demonizing the Nigerian Army is similar to previously failed enterprises."
The Africa Centre for Human Rights and Protection, however, urged Reuters to desist from such unprofessional conduct at the risk of losing whatever is left of its credibility.
Dr Nyiakula noted that:
"Efforts of the Nigerian Army in addressing the threats posed by Boko Haram terrorism in North East Nigeria have been noteworthy. Its efforts at assisting victims of Boko Haram have also received commendations from near and far."
Recent report on Nigerian military aimed at undermining national security, says NAPJ
Reactions continue to trail the recent report alleging that the Nigerian military has been involved in forced abortions.
The Northeast Advocacy for Peace and Justice says the report is the handwork of foreign agents planning to distract the military.
The group also stated that sponsors and international groups funding the activities of terrorists are responsible for such damming report.
Arewa group lauds COAS Farouq Yahaya, troops on war against banditry
In a statement signed by its president, Comrade Sani Mohammed, and sent to Legit.ng on Monday, November 14, the group said the zeal and commitment of the Nigerian Army are laudable and responsible for the numerous gains recorded so far in most parts of the country.
The group said since Yahaya assumed office, the operations of the Nigerian Army in addressing the security challenges in the country have been noteworthy.