A video showing troops of the Nigeria Army celebrating and dancing to a popular song titled, ‘Emi Lo Kan’ has incited a reaction from the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) after it was reportedly linked to represent its political bias.
The derogatory song, came to the limelight following a procession by the Sea Dog popularly called Pyrates confraternity in Lagos, aimed at discrediting the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu.
In a 30 seconds video, shared by a Tiktok user: @Johnomegie which has now been deleted, but also shared by a Tweep on October 17, the soldiers were seen dancing in jubilation while the song played in the background.
Reacting to the clip, the DHQ via a statement on Wednesday discredited the video saying, “it is obvious that the original visual content (which was used for the two videos) was manipulated to produce the current ones in circulation.”
Although THE WHISTLER could only sight a single video where the troops danced to the derogatory song insulting the personality of the presidential candidate, the DHQ acknowledged the existence of another clip with the same troops endorsing one of the presidential candidates.
The statement read partly: “The original soundtrack of the videos was a usual morale-boosting song that soldiers sing during military exercises or activities.
“Unfortunately, certain individuals who are unknown at this point, took the video and superimposed different songs on the visuals, which soon went viral, thereby creating the odious impression that soldiers were promoting the candidacy of a particular politician while disapproving the another.”
The WHISTLER analysis of the video, however, showed that the audio in the circulated video matched the song that trended two months ago, during a procession by members of a Pyrate confraternity in Lagos. Also, there was no lip sync that matched the song.
There was also no visual match when a reversed search was conducted on the key frames of the circulating video. The sounds of drums and whistles used in the original audio by the Pyrates could be held in the circulating video of the troops.
The statement by the DHQ further noted, “On 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.”
The statement, signed by the Director Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, further read, “While it is within the right of individuals to create media content for political purposes, it is grossly disingenuous to appropriate video of a military activity and use same to create contents that portray the military as partisan, political and unprofessional.
“This is particularly despicable as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections. For 23 years since 1999, the military has toiled night and day to protect and keep guard over Nigeria’s democracy. Thus, the same military cannot afford to be partisan or commit to any enterprise that would create disharmony in the polity.
“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 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.”