Major General Chris Olukolade spoke exclusively with SaharaTV on recent security developments in Nigeria and to defend the Nigerian Armed Forces’ reputation amid criticism.
In his first interview since Boko Haram’s incursion into Gombe in the early hours of February 14, Maj. General Olukolade told SaharaTV Presenter Rudolf Okonkow that “[the incursion] happened early this morning but did not take long before our troops repelled them. At the moment, we are in pursuit and we are making some arrests.” Olukolade said that he would have more details as events develop.
Maj. General Olukolade also wanted to address international criticism of the Nigerian military. “Most of the people from the Western world [foreign press] came with the mindset and belief that we will not be able to handle the situation [elections].” He added that it can be “attributed to racism, or the tendency to bring the Black man down or make him look incompetent.”
He also said that local and social media can make it “very depressing and discouraging when people are putting in their best, giving every sacrifice that is retired to hold the enemies of society at bay. And yet the people that they are working for go on Twitter and media and say all kinds of things that are quite often not true.” He feels that some domestic media outlets and social media contribute to the negative perception of Nigeria’s military.
Maj. General Olukolade said that politicians and political leaders should be cautious about how they talk about the military in public, and allow comments on specifics to those with knowledge.