1. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a variety of measures to stem its spread in our country. Some of these measures include restriction of movement, lockdown and stay at home directives which are being enforced by various government and security agencies. Some creative Nigerians found it expedient to provide comic relief through the production of funny jokes, graphics, drama skits and video clips to entertain the public. The materials are circulated through social media.
2. Unfortunately, most of these clips circulating on social media bordered on the Nigerian soldier and projecting the military as lawless, brutal and being harsh on people flouting the stay at home order pursuant to the lockdown and stay at home directives imposed in some states in Nigeria. There is no doubt these drama skits and video clips denigrate and cast the military and the security forces in a bad light.
3. This development creates a wrong impression and general perception of our soldiers negatively and projects them as undisciplined and brutal. Thus, creating an erroneous impression of the military. We are well trained and dedicated professionals that perform our Constitutional duties diligently and dispassionately with utmost regards for human rights and rules of engagement.
4. It is wrong to continue to produce such drama skits, video clips and graphics at the expense of the excellent image of the Nigerian soldier. It affects troops morale and has a broad implication for national security. No nation or good citizen make jest of its military. Therefore, we are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians and producers of such materials to desist forthwith. The military or security agencies should not be made the subject or focus of those skits at the expense of a key and strategic arm of the security architecture of our great nation.
5. On our part, we will continue to discharge our Constitutionally assigned tasks professionally respecting human rights and rules of engagement. We will also investigate the source of such props and costumes and ensure that military uniforms will not be used to denigrate the military.
Acting Director Army Public Relations
10 April 2020