Abuja, Nigeria — THE Nigerian Army has threatened legal action against social media users posting graphic images of soldiers killed or injured during battle.
Some soldiers have lost their lives during battles with the Islamist Boko Haram northeast of the country and armed bandits elsewhere around the volatile nation.
Social media users have taken to online platforms to post gory pictures of the deceased or injured officers.
"This act is not only unpatriotic but very insensitive and utterly reprehensible," Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, Nigeria Army Director of Public Relations, said.
He said in some cases, families of the soldiers found out about the deaths on social media before official communication by military authorities.
"One can only imagine the trauma and pain such families go through waking up to see the gory pictures of their loved ones splashed on the social media," Yerima said.
"The Nigerian Army considers this despicable and unpatriotic act totally unacceptable and will henceforth take legal actions to protect troops who die in action from being ridiculed on social media or any platform."
Nigeria, Africa's biggest country by population (206 million people) and economy, is also one of the most volatile nations in the continent.
The Boko Haram is the biggest threat in its violent bid to establish an Islamic State in the West African country.
More than 36 000 people have been killed since 2009 during the rebellion by the sect northeast of Nigeria while more than three million others have been displaced.