CSO rejects Reuters’ abortion report on Nigerian Military


A Civil Society Organisation, Africa Centre for Human Rights and Protection, has rejected an investigative report published by France-based news agency, Reuters revealing that the Nigerian Military has been running a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the North East since 2013.

The centre described the report as “a propagation of falsehood that defeats logic and common sense.”


Reuters had claimed in the report that the Army was running a programme that involved terminating, at least, 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants.

But, addressing journalists in Abuja, on Friday, the Executive Director of the centre, Fabian Nyiakula, claimed that after an extensive analysis of the report by Reuters, there are indications that the organisation had run out of ideas in castigating the Nigerian Army in its customary fashion.


He said: “The report lacked the basics of objectivity in news reportage, because it read like tales by moonlight and was probably a product of desk research without substance. ..”

“The narrative also smacks of gross ignorance of the role of the Nigerian Army in prosecuting the war against Boko Haram terrorists in North East Nigeria.

“Reuters claimed that it interviewed 33 women and girls who were in the custody of the Nigerian Army in Borno State. While this is a defective sample size to draw such a hasty conclusion, it further highlights the mischief of Reuters, an agency that has lost focus and instead, delved into matters they are ignorant about.

“The Nigerian Army do not detain women and children victims of the Boko Haram onslaught.

“The puerile attempt by Reuters to paint the Nigerian Army in a bad light must have stemmed from the recent gains recorded in the prosecution of the war against terrorism, which by all indications, is not appreciated by the promoters of Reuters.

“For Reuters to assume that the abortion programme has been in operation since 2013, indicates that Reuters has elected to be clever by half.

“The implication of the Reuters’ action is that this imagined abortion programme went unnoticed by the hundreds of Non-governmental organizations working in North East Nigeria, including reputable United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organisations that have assisted in significant measures in assisting victims of Boko Haram brutality on unarmed civilians.

“Reuters contradicted itself when it alluded that “Aspects of the Nigerian Army’s abortion programme remain murky. Because of the secrecy involved, it is impossible to know precisely, how many abortions were done. Interviews and documents suggest the count could be significantly higher than the tally of at least 10,000 cases that Reuters was able to establish.

“The question thus is how Reuters arrived at such a conclusion when it claimed that the report was based on 33 women and girls interviewed. This defeats common sense hence why the report should be discarded in its entirety for lacking in substance, but propaganda aimed at distracting the Nigerian Army in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram terrorists in North East Nigeria.

Noting that the diatribe against the Nigerian Army is petty and aimed at bouncing back to relevance after most of its reportage on Nigeria had been faulted or debunked for lacking evidence, Nyiakula urged Reuters to come to terms with the reality that Nigerians do not welcome or entertain half-truths.

“The plot is poor, the storyline is kindergarten, and the execution is puerile. It attempted in vain to present a precarious situation, but without realising that this new attempt at demonising the Nigerian Army is similar to previously failed enterprises”, he added.

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