By Braxton Ilobah
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi has described the trending video in the social media with negative impressions about him purportedly bearing a rifle as efforts of mischief makers to ridicule his office.
The Minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadri, in a statement on Sunday said “the online Media hype on a trending Video indicting the Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) carrying AK47 rifle has gone viral to necessitate this rebuttal to clear all negative narratives trailing the fakenews.
“The urge to put the record straight and to clear all doubts unwarrantedly planted in the psyche of peace loving Nigerians gives birth to this rebuttal.
“First, to erroneously claim that the person in question in the satanic Video is General Magashi when actually he is not is misleading and misinforming.
“Infact, findings have revealed the undeniable identity of the person in the video as the Rector of the Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST) Makurdi, ( Name withheld) who by virtue of his Command position is statutorily allowed in the Military to sign for weapons when travelling.
The statement further said that “the Army green colour on the Innonson Jeep and the Unit sticker of NACEST on the official Vehicle are enough evidences to neutralise the spurious claim in the clip being referred to as the Official vehicle of the Minister of Defence who uses black Land Cruiser jeep like his counterparts in other ministries.
“Again the Internet fraudster’s desperate attempt to demean the personality of the Defence Minister proved null and void and untenable with the fake picture of the Orderly that wears blue colour of the insignia band of NA Education Corp whereas the Orderly to General Magashi (Name withheld) is of the Corp of the Military Police who uses red berret and MP red handband on his Camouflage.
“Going by the aforementioned verifiable, and tenable analysis of the video in circulation, the perpetrators have failed woefully in their attempt to celebrate falsehood and fakenews.
The statement described the video as undoubtedly put on the Internet to portray the Minister in bad light as feeling unsafe at a time when he was successfully occupying the driver’s seat in implementing the vision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to end all internal security challenges bedeveling the country.
For the sake of emphasis and the avoidance of doubt, the statement clarified that the Minister was not the person in the video as being portrayed and “Nigerians are advised to be warry of bad guys in the Internet and their collaborators in Social Media sharing unverified stories to discredit the successes the fighting troops have been recording in counter terrorism and anti-banditry campaigns in the Country.
“Let it be categorically stated that the Minister of Defence has unpenetrable line of defence capabilities befitting his office that are capable of dealing with any threat and does not need to carry a gun as seen in the video.”
The general public has therefore been called to discontenance and disregard “this false information being spread by the enemies of the government and those who were not happy with the victories of our gallant military against the insurgents and bandits.”
“The Minister wishes to inform the public that the onslaught against the insurgents and bandits will continue until the country is safe for all and sundry. He has also advised the general public to continue to provide quality support for the Federal Government and the military for a better Nigeria.