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MURIC lauds military’s take-over 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 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.

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