Activists demand resignation of Military Spokesman Maj.-Gen. Olukolade over misinformation

Posted by News Express | 22 April 2014 | 2,993 times

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A coalition of human rights groups has demanded the resignation of Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, over alleged misinformation.

The Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) in a statement issued this evening in Lagos condemned the misinformation, on Wednesday, by Olukolade, “claiming that 107 abducted girls from the Government College, Chibok, Borno State, have been freed and that only eight of the girls were still missing.”

HRAN in the statement signed by Chairman Chino Obiagwu and Member, Steering Committee, Lanre Suraj noted that “this information has been vehemently rebutted by the Borno State Government and the Principal of the school, Mrs. Asabe Kwambura, that only 14 of the schools girls have returned.”

The group strongly condemned “this blatant display of unprofessionalism, insensitivity, dishonesty and lack of transparency by the military,” calling for “the resignation of Major General Chris Olukolade.”

HRAN, according to the statement, “is stunned that a security issue of this level, involving the fate of young innocent girls whose parents have been traumatised since the news of the mishap, could be toyed with by the military. HRAN is specifically disturbed that the military who claim to be ‘on top the situation’ since the emergence of the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram sect, is basing its public declaration on the number of girls freed, on what was purportedly fed to them by the principal of the school.

“HRAN is appalled at this level of careless and display of unprofessionalism by the military, noting that they did not take into consideration, the sensitive nature of the issue at stake and the likely effect of the information passed, before making the statement. HRAN is worried that at a time like this, the Nigerian military is more concerned about boosting its image than working hard to safeguard the lives of Nigerians. HRAN also notes that this development smacks of lack of transparency on the part of the military, in their engagement with the Boko Haram insurgency as Nigerians are now at a lost on what or who to believe.

“HRAN notes that in every civilised society, Major General Chris Olukolade would have resigned as a sign of remorse for this grave unpopular act; and so would like to use this medium to urge the major general to tender his resignation with immediate effect, for misleading Nigerians in this time of grief. HRAN also calls on the army chief of staff and national security adviser to increase their commitment to rescue the girls, noting that only this can restore the confidence of Nigerians in the military.”

•Photo shows Maj.-Gen. Olubolade.

Source: News Express

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