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DHQ warns against use of military images for political campaigns

DHQ warns against use of military images for political campaigns
October 19
19:34 2022

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned against the misuse of military images and visuals for political advertisements. 

The military is issuing the warning against the backdrop of a series of videos allegedly doctored to portray Nigerian soldiers mocking one of the presidential candidates. 

Jimmy Akpor, director of defence information on Wednesday, said the doctored videos were intended by mischiefs to project the military as being partisan.

Such misuse, he said, presents the military in bad light and could sow seeds of discord in the country.

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“The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to two videos circulating online. The first video clip consciously portrays troops making merry and dancing to music purportedly in celebration and open endorsement of one presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections,” he said in a statement.   

“The second video clip (with the same visuals as the first one) wilfully shows troops supposedly dancing to a derogatory song that insults the personality of another presidential candidate. At the face value, the videos send a disturbing signal to members of the public and the political class in particular, as the videos seemingly connote partisanship by military personnel and by extension, the entire military establishment. 

“On closer scrutiny, however, it is obvious that the original visual content (which was used for the two videos) was manipulated to produce the current ones in circulation. The original soundtrack of the videos was a usual morale-boosting song that soldiers sing during military exercises or activities. 

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“In the light of the foregoing, the Defence Headquarters seriously frowns at the deliberate attempt to misrepresent it and wishes to caution media and Public Relations handlers as well as supporters of political parties to desist from misusing images and visuals of military personnel as this does not only present the Armed Forces of Nigeria in a bad light, it could also sow seeds of distrust and instability.

“There is, therefore, the need to be circumspect while copy-writing, never to use military personnel, their activities, uniforms or accoutrements as the main themes or for illustration of the main message in political advertisements or any such productions. Defaulters would henceforth be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.”

In September, Faruk Yahaya, the chief of army staff, had urged commanding officers to remain apolitical in the discharge of their duties.

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