14th January, 2019
PRESS RELEASE: MURIC LAUDS HEROES OF BAGA
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has applauded troops who liberated Baga from the clutches of Boko Haram insurgents, now known as the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
In a press statement issued on Monday 14th January, 2019 and signed by the director of the Islamic human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC commended men of the Nigerian Army at the Baga front for giving the insurgents a bloody nose.
“We appreciate the risk taken by each and every soldier who partook in the liberation of Baga. We owe huge debts to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots who flew daring sorties in the face of raging fire, NAF gunners whose concentrated firings gave cover to ground forces and the Nigerian Navy Special Forces whose shelling scared the hell out of the insurgents. They are the heroes of Baga.
“We invite Nigerians to give full support to these heroes. We should appreciate what they are doing for our dear country. We all could have become captives but for their sacrifices. Let us therefore support them in every way we can. Information is very vital. We must supply information to them immediately we have access to it. We must also show them love and care whenever they pass through our cities and villages.
“Another way Nigerians can manifest solidarity with the Nigerian Army in this war against insurgents is by visiting military hospitals nearest to them to donate blood. Blood donated to nearest military hospitals can be transferred to military health facilities close to the battle front and used to save the lives of injured Nigerian soldiers. Voluntary donation of blood to injured soldiers is the height of patriotism.
“It is germane at this juncture to warn saboteurs among the civilian population. You must stop giving information to the terrorists. Boko Haram insurgents can only bring death and suffering to your cities. Only Nigerian soldiers can protect your families and restore peace in the land.
“MURIC charges the media in particular to cooperate fully with the army in this war. This is not an expedition in which the media can be neutral. While we agree that professionalism should not be jettisoned, we must remember that we were Nigerians before we chose our professions and we are still Nigerians after choosing our professions. It must therefore be Nigeria first for all of us.
“It would have been a different thing if the Nigerian Army is fighting an unjust war or simply oppressing a weaker nation. Professionalism can come in there. That was exactly what the American media did during the Vietnam war (1st November, 1955 to 30th April 1975). US media criticism became heavily toxic and Gerald Rudolph Ford, the 38th president of the US, had no choice but to throw in the towel.
“But this is a different case. Our soldiers are fighting a noble cause. They are on the right. Our media cannot afford to turn against those who are on the right course. Our media cannot afford to be seen protecting killers of innocent children and pregnant women. We cannot be promoting the interest of those who bomb churches and mosques. The Nigerian media has no other country apart from the same Nigeria to which our gallant troops belong and which they are defending. This is definitely not Vietnam.
“We commiserate with families of the officer and soldier who fell in Baga. Those fallen heroes will continue to live in our hearts. We remember all our injured soldiers. We assure them that we feel their pain. They are not alone. The whole country is with them.
“As we round off, we implore the Nigerian Army to collaborate with the media to use the radio in the whole North East for dishing out pro-Nigerian Army propaganda. The radio is perhaps the only source of information to which the locals are emotionally attached. The Nigerian Army can exploit this to its advantage.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)