The Defence Headquarters has described an article authored by Adams Nossiter and published in the May 23, 2014 edition of New York Times as one filled with “racist sentiments” and “crass prejudice” against the Nigerian military.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), in a statement signed by Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, condemned the article titled: “Nigeria’s Army Hampers Hunt for Abducted Schoolgirl,” saying, “The reckless and unprofessional manner with which the article alleged that the Nigerian military was hampering the global hunt for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls was uncalled for.”
According to Nwachukwu, the report was aimed at disparaging and rubbishing the relentless efforts of the Nigerian troops in the ongoing search and rescue operations to free the abducted Chibok girls.
He said the “biased publication is typical of the unfortunate approach adopted by a section of foreign media organisations which have continued to feast on insinuations aimed at casting aspersion on the Nigerian military.”
He added that the assertion in the article that the Nigerian military “is so poorly trained and armed, and so riddled with corruption” was a clear indication that the reporter was too prejudiced to acknowledge the fact that this same Nigerian military had trained and conducted military exercises and operations alongside military organisations of other nations in recent times and excelled.
Onyema described it as ironic, the anomalies so loudly touted in Mr Nossiter’s article were not identified with the Nigerian military during such international outings.
“It is unfortunate that rather than objectively examine the terrorism challenge currently confronting Nigeria as a transnational and contagious phenomenon, the writer preferred to uncannily engage in a campaign of calumny to tarnish the reputation of the Nigerian military,” he added.
“The report by Mr. Nossiter has clearly unveiled his abysmal mediocrity, arrogance and racist sentiments,” he stated.
He said, describing as a weak reed, a military that fought and sacrificed so much to extricate Liberia, a vital and longstanding ally of the United States of America from the brink of total collapse on two occasions, revealed the viciousness of the bias that was displayed by Mr. Nossiter.
Onyema recalled that “this same Nigerian military which Mr. Nossiter tried fruitlessly to ridicule fought valiantly and successfully to bring to an end, the civil war in Sierra Leone, a former British colony and ally.
“What about the successes in Darfur and Somalia? Has he also forgotten or is he so unaware of the gallantry of Nigerian soldiers when American troops were being mauled by rebels in Somalia in 1994? Has he quickly forgotten the contribution of the Nigerian military to the current peace being savoured in Mali?”
Onyema stated that these are benchmarks and indicators of the prowess of the Nigerian military which had gone down the annals of regional and global history.
He added that no amount of mischievous reportage from hack writers can undo these feats.
“Mr. Nossiter is noted for his commitment to reporting and projecting Nigeria in bad light, judging by his previous articles on the country in the same medium.
“The New York Times is expected to note the racist disposition of this writer and always take his writings on Nigeria and Africa with a pinch of salt. We also expect the medium to give this response the necessary attention,” Onyema said.