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Defence Spokesman Olukolade Warns Ezekwesili & #BBOG Group: “Enough of the Hate Campaign & Antagonism”

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Warning

Defence Spokesman, Chris Olukolade has warned former Education minister and Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) activist, Oby Ezekwesili to desist from what he has described as “undue hate campaign and antagonism.”

Olukolade issued the warning via a letter to Ezekwesili and other BBOG group coordinators including Hadiza Bala Usman and Bukky Sonibare, The Nation reports.

The letter reads in part:

…Indeed, there is still room for more merciful and robust engagement or interface between you and the government and security agencies in the drive to secure the return of our girls. Enough of undue hate campaign and antagonism.

I have followed your activities with due interest.  I personally have nothing against your organisation or its advocacy concerning efforts to recover our girls from captivity of terrorists.  I believe that someday, both your efforts and that of the Nigerian military will be duly understood and appreciated.

It is unfortunate that some have sought to equate our efforts to give accounts of activities on the nation’s war on terror as propaganda or cover-up.  This is not true.  We know the difference.

The fact is that the battle situation around could be very fluid and susceptible to rapid changes.  The situations around the battle could also change accordingly in an inexplicable manner.

This trend is also compounded by various perspectives that have been employed to seriously polarise the understanding of the situation along the line of all kinds of sentiments and biases prevailing in the environment.  We cannot engage in a shouting match with those who have other motives.  We can only try to explain situation to the best of our understanding and available information.

The report we present on situations are based on the available information and observance of the elements of propriety, security, policy and accuracy, which has remained our guiding principles.  It is really not true as you have been made to assert repeatedly that the Defence Headquarters and myself are the only sources of information on the operation.

The sweeping judgement and insistence that we must do things in a particular way or your claim that we do not follow best practices as well as your remarks comparing our approach to that of other armies is very unfair.

Indeed, you must know that no two military operations are the same, and the conduct must endeavour to reflect the realities and peculiarities being confronted in the field.

Your allegations or claim that we lack transparency is definitely not well informed neither is it being expressed in good faith.

…Be assured that nobody has been restrained from accessing the mission area in the ongoing operation except when there is clear case of undue interference with safety and operational environment.  Infact, occasionally, we conduct the media on tour of the operational area.

Our concern remains the issue of safety for anyone in search of information. Much as we want to assist genuine seekers of information, we do not feel obliged to devote scarce resources to satisfying the fancy of pleasure seeking adventurers or the curious and mindless critics who just want to roam around with questionable motives.

We should not be blackmailed into compromising the security of information and operations in the name of undefined idea of transparency.

We have strived to keep the populace informed in the best way possible in the circumstances we find ourselves.

No one has been through this same path before. We keep improving and seeking how to cope with the enormous challenges.  You may recall that although it was in the line of duty, I was the first and perhaps the only military officer who against all odds have addressed your leadership and the group as a whole when you marched to the Defence Headquarters at the early stages of your campaign.

I believe we had cordial interactions all through at that period. It is noteworthy that this gentleman, my sworn antagonist, was not present at that interactive meeting.

We really have no reason to engage in deception as your forum is always quick to allege – apparently with a view to discrediting us and our efforts.

Your assertion, claiming that we have credibility problem is only in the imagination of those pursuing the hate campaign against us.

It is definitely not in the view of the generality of the populace who still trust, depend on and utilise the outcome of all our efforts to inform the public on the counter terrorism campaign.

The ceaseless criticism we continue to get from you has been so uncharitable and could ordinarily be discouraging.

We however derive a lot of inspiration from the appreciation and commendation we keep getting from other well meaning individuals and organizations who continue to urge us on.

The patriot and God fearing person in us will not yield to blackmail and malicious criticism of those using the platform of your otherwise noble organisation, to run us down and plan on how to disgrace us in the pursuit of an agenda to humiliate and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Being in the forefront of the efforts to disseminate information is a job I do with passion and sense of responsibility.  I do not deserve the hatred and mindless antagonism your organization has continued to unleash on me.

I certainly have a life out of here and it is unfair to work purely for the purpose of destroying my reputation and years of committed and unblemished record of service to my country.

Despite the regular focus and disdainful reference to all communication from me as prompted by those who are so determined to ruin other people’s name and career, I have maintained the restraint required of me both by training and upbringing.

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 judgement of people who read or hear you.  I am so sure I will enjoy the blessing of being vindicated at last.

Meanwhile, I wish your team will consider my point here and spare me and the Nigerian military the undue attacks we have continued to be subjected to in the name of monitoring or calling for accountability.

We call for fairness as against the present campaign that is fraught with calumny and promotion of one man’s malice against us and anything government.

I will not be surprised if this appeal draws more or fresh vitriol from your organisation, especially at the prompting of the hawks in your midst who are the disciples of that prominent member and proponent of the malicious campaign.

This is more likely, considering the determination and unhidden hatred of those who have been acting with a view to drawing me out for a street fight.

I can assure you that I will not react or join issues under whatever provocation.   I will be leaving all such sworn enemies to their conscience and God if they believe in Him at all.

To you as an organisation, please save your platform from being used to perpetrate this injustice as inspired by the prominent and phony member of your BringBackOurGirls campaign.

13 Comments

  1. M

    May 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    GBAM! advocates for terrorists

  2. ada

    May 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Hmmm. Since when did a senior military person start addressing members of civil society? He is upset that someone is giving her opinion, has he forgotten its a free world? He is using such words as ‘phony’. See pot calling kettle black!

  3. ShineShineShine

    May 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    If indeed girls are missing, May the peace of the Lord which passéth all understanding be with them and their parent until they are found. But l believe the BBOGG’s leaders especially Oby has turned this to a self serving project.

  4. Zee

    May 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    How many days remain for Olukolade on that seat again?
    Can wait for sanity to return to our military again, all these military-politicians should just go abeg

  5. x-factor

    May 18, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    apparently, this deluded human being does not understand what it means to loose a child to cold blooded murderers

  6. cindy

    May 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Too long to read jo??

  7. Theresa

    May 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Why don’t you write letters to all the people who held up signs saying “Bring back our Girls”?…Na for Aunty Oby you get power reach abi? *Long hiss*
    The truth is you guys have failed big time! If your daughters were among the abducted ones you would have done the needful.

    I thank God that He knows how to avenge the blood of the innocent. All of you who looked away while they were slaughtered will surely pay! God no dey sleep!

  8. Aibee

    May 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Argumentum ad misericordia … that’s all I see here.

  9. braimah sani

    May 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    carry on oby,blow the whistle so that our army will sit up, politician christ olukolade

  10. Shutup

    May 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    HOW MANY OF HER FAMILY MEMBERS ARE IN THE ARMED FORCES? DOES SHE KNOW HOW MANY SOLDIERS THAT HAVE DIED IN THE QUEST FOR CHIBOK GIRLS AND PEACE IN THE NORTH EAST? SHE NEVER APPRECIATED THE EFFORTS OF OUR MILITARY NOR COMMEND THEM. WE OWE TONS OF GRATITUDE TO OUR ARMED FORCES AND OWE OUR PEACE AND SAFETY TO GOD FIRST AND OUR ARMED FORCES. EZEKWESILI MUST EXERCISE CAUTION IN SEEKING NOBLE PEACE PRIZE.

  11. Tosin

    May 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    That was long for a military person. Bet he’s been keeping it for 11 years (Adebayor), hence the need to really vent now?
    I’m sure after reading this, some people have been inspired to walk / bike to Sambisa or at least Maiduguri now. I’m thinking of handgliding right into a BH camp. That would show them. 🙂
    OK, to be honest, I didn’t know what handgliding (sic) was until I looked it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hang_gliding . And it turns out it’s HANG, not hand … Anyway, I will tweet the experience if our telecomms people decide to operate out there.

    Totally joking.

  12. nene+

    May 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    But where are these girls for crying out loud? Several has been recovered yet NO SINGLE Chibok school girl found?????

    Many of the recovered people where ladies also. So how come these Chibok school girls where kept out in a special place?

    Only God and the evil people who packaged the devious act know where they are.

    It wont take 100 years before God will expose them and all behind it will be put to shame

  13. fummi

    May 19, 2015 at 12:25 am

    madam oby dnt worry u will soon rest since this administration no favour u na so so attach u dey fight them.i hope buhari go favor u.you have being running a hate compaign.stop and stop.

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