The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, has said the general belief in military circles is that the Bring-Back-Our-Girls advocacy group have concluded plans to destroy the careers and reputation of a select group of military officers in the country.
Olukolade said specifically that the organisation, which has maintained advocacy for the release of the over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram gunmen from their school in Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2015 has zeroed in on him and others as targets for such destructive intentions.
The defence spokesman’s position was contained in a letter he wrote to the Co-ordinator of the #BBOG and former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili.
The undated letter was also copied to other prominent members of the group such as Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman, Mrs. Bukky Sonibare and the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mohammed Garba.
The Defence spokesman also alleged that some “charlatans”, who are among the #BBOG campaigners, were out to tarnish the image of the military because of envy.
According to Olukolade, a prominent member of the group had been involved in a hate campaign against him and the military and was indeed using the platform of the campaign to pursue his plans.
He said, “Indeed, I am also conscious of the enormous power you wield. The belief is that your organisation has the determination to ruin the name, career, and reputation of some targeted military officers among whom I have been specifically marked for such cruel treatment.
“I can only leave such matter to God and the good judgment of the people who read or hear you. I am so sure I will enjoy the blessing of being vindicated at last”.
He also faulted the group’s accusation that the military had not followed best practices in the operation, and the tendency to compare the Nigerian Army with other armies, as unfair as unfair.
The Defence spokesman noted that it was impossible for two military operations to be conducted the same way as the operations must reflect field realities.
He added that the claim by members of the #BBOG that the military operation in the North-East lacked transparency was either not being made in good faith or they are not well informed.
Olukolade said the military had ensured nobody was restrained from accessing the operational area except those involved in “undue interference with safety and operational environment”.
He, therefore, opined that the BBOG campaigners’ claim that the military was engaged in deception was untrue and meant to discredit the security forces.
Olukolade debunked the assertion of the group that the military had credibility issues, describing it as the opinion of those behind a hate campaign against the Armed Forces and not the general opinion of Nigerians.