By Idoko Ainoko
When the matter borders on the security of Nigeria, Sahara Reporters has on several occasions acted as if it does not care about the peaceful and cooperate existence of the country.
Going by the way the online medium concoct stories, twists facts and embellish negative occurrences in favour of insurgents, terrorists and other the enemies of Nigeria, one can say without fear of contradiction that Sahara Reporters is not serving the interest of Nigeria.
The medium has been consistent with this style of reportage that one cannot but ask in whose interest it is carrying out the all the negative press about Nigeria and its security agencies.
Last year, a national daily inadvertently reported details of the preparation by the Nigerian army to crush the Boko Haram terrorists and many media managers rose in condemnation of the act of indiscretion by the media house.
In a paper presented at a workshop for the media and the military in Kaduna, chairman of the editorial board of Thisday newspapers, Segun Adeniyi categorically stated that what the media house did was wrong.
But because it was a one off case, the military and other concerned stakeholders immedlaiey put the episode behind them and moved ahead.
That cannot however be likened to the case of Sahara Reporters which consistently takes sides with the terrorists in the reportage of conflicts in the North eastern part of the country.
When a media organisation allows itself to be biased to the extent that it is seen as the mouthpiece of criminal and u patriotic elements, then it should bow its head in shame.
The media is expected to inform the general public, but such information must be factual and for common good.
The Nigerian army, on the other hand has a statutory duty to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and it has since 2015 when the current administration was inaugurated being doing that successfully.
The army has successfully liquidated the base of the Boko Haram terrorists, set many of their captives free and recaptured seized territories from them.
It has also made it difficult for the insurgents to attack communities at will and has recently been able to foil such attempts in Biu, Garkida and Maiduguri among other places.
But Sahara Reporters most times when the Nigerian army makes such commendable move against the insurgents, prefers to go to sleep.
It closes its eyes when troops overrun invading forces of the insurgents and turns a blind eye when the insurgents suffer casualty.
But any move by the insurgents or acts of error by the Nigerian army is never missed by Sahara Reporters as it is embellished and blown out of proportion to make them look like they are having an upper hand in the war.
Two months ago, Sahara Reporters reported that the Boko Haram dealt the Nigerian army a heavy blow when the terrorists attempted to ambush one of the theatre Commanders but were subdued and neutralised.
The army felt embarrassed by the way Sahara Reporters reported the incident that it had to clear the air on the matter saying it was rather the Boko Haram insurgents that were decimated at the site of a failed ambush sprung against the theater Commanders’ Convoy.
The army said, “In a clear display of misguided desperation to stage a reprisal following the recent neutralisation of several of their top commanders by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, on 6 January 2020, some marauding elements of the criminal Boko Haram insurgents laid and eventually sprung an ambush against the convoy of the Theater Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi.
“The Theatre Commander’s convoy came under the criminals ineffective and uncoordinated fire from Anti-Aircraft Guns, Machines Guns, Rocket Propelled Grenades and some of their foot soldiers about 2 Kilometers to Auno in Kaga LGA of Borno State while returning from Jakana where he visited troops’ location following his earlier meeting with the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum at Auno.
“In a commendable demonstration of bold action in battle, the Theatre Commander led the gallant troops of his convoy to engage the criminal Boko Haram Insurgents with superior firepower, subduing them and thereafter assaulting the ambush site with his men thereby causing the criminal insurgents to flee the location in disarray”.
In that incident alone, 20 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, one camouflage trouser, one Nigeria Police Force fragmental jacket, 2 AK 47 Rifles and 3 AK 47 Rifle magazines were captured from the fleeing insurgents by the army.
But Sahara did not see all of that.
Before that, Sahara Reporters on its website had also published a story with the caption “Nigerian Army Presents Unverified “Lt Col” To Refute Petition Against Military Hierarchy” on its website to disparage the army.
In this report as noted earlier, Sahara Reporters committed itself to support for terrorism and fighting Nigeria, its people, its military and particularly the Nigerian Army.
This is because no such thing happened because the serving officer was found not to be the author of the petition as the officer in question dissociated himself from the so-called petition in a press conference he personally attended.
When the army called a press conference to clarify the matter, Sahara Reporter chose not to attend.
The type of stories you are sure to see on Sahara Reporters website about the Nigerian army are fabrications about defeat, glorificarion of insurgents and any act of misdemeanors by any soldier.
The onlibe news platform has obviously become a mouthpiece of the enemies of Nigeria.
When they are not obsessed with the choice of President Buhari on who serve the nation as service Chief, they are providing full support for the terrorists just to see that the nation is defeated or they are serving as a platform for the disintegration of the country.
This is clearly not just unethical and unprofessional but unpatriotic. Those behind Sahara Reporters should realise that they can achieve nothing in the long run if they continue on this path of perfidy and should as a matter of insurgency retrace their steps.
Ainoko wrote this piece from Kaduna.