Paschal Emeka, Abuja

The Nigerian Army has been absolved of allegations of illegal abortion leveled against it by the international news agency, Reuters.

Recall that on 7th December 2022, Reuters accused the Nigerian Army of conducting systematic, secret, and illegal abortion programs in the Northeast.

The international media claimed that the Nigerian Army aborted about 10,000 pregnancies of women and girls.

Reuters said that abortions were carried out among women and girls who have been victims of insurgency.

Condemning the report, the Centre for International And Strategic Studies, CISS, exonerated the Nigerian Army from the allegations.

CISS claimed that a British Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria, MSION, was the mastermind of the illicit abortion program in the Northeast.

The exposure was contained in the Annual Report On The Federal Government’s War Against Insecurity/Insurgency In Nigeria by the Centre for International And Strategic Studies, CISS, in collaboration with the Coalition Of Civil Society Organizations On Rights And Security (CCSOHRS).

The report was presented at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The center described Reuter’s report as “propaganda and slander against the Nigerian military.”

The report reads: “On 7th December 2022, it was allegedly reported by Reuters, an international news agency organization, that the Nigerian military was conducting a massacre of children through the process of abortion. Hence, Reuters alleged that the military was conducting abortions on women impregnated by members of the Boko Haram sect in the North East Zone, and also killing children vilified as offspring on one hand and as allies of the Boko Haram on the other hand. The report and publication by Reuters tagged “Nightmare in Nigeria: A Conflict Waged on the Lives of Women and Children,” divided into three parts, [is] propaganda and slander against the Nigerian military. It’s on record that Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, a British NGO, is responsible for mass abortions in Nigeria.”

The center expressed worry why Reuters left reporting on Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, a British NGO that “is responsible for such crimes to be attacking the Nigerian military that is going about its duties responsibly and professionally.”

The report notes: “The mission of the NGO is to ensure that families and women have children by choice and not by chance. It was reported by Mr. Jonathan Nachia, the MSION Research Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the North East that “the organization has successfully averted 15,317 unintended pregnancies; 6,344 abortions; 5,719 unsafe abortions; 79 maternal deaths, and 4,581 mortality and morbidity, among others.”

It adds: “The report “Nightmare in Nigeria: A Conflict Waged on the Lives of Women and Children” by Reuters, against the Nigerian military is false and stands dismissed. The Nigerian military is a professional military that stands tall among the best militaries in the world. She understands the rules of engagement and in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, the Nigerian military plays by the rules and has in no way, been found liable for any war crimes and crimes against humanity as alleged by Reuters.

“The report by Reuters is at large, a concerted effort designed to discredit the Nigerian Military. It is time, therefore, for the Nigerian government and the Nigerian military, to follow up on the activities of NGOs in Nigeria, especially in the North East Zone. This will help checkmate and prevent their propaganda and slander campaigns against the Nigerian military. When all is said, it must be submitted that the Nigerian military has been very professional in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and has not by any means, been found culpable.”

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