Be careful how you report Boko Haram: Army Chief tells Nigerian media

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has called on the Nigerian media, especially online publications, to be patriotic in their reportage of the Boko Haram activities.

The army chief made the call today in Abuja while speaking to the press after declaring open a one-day seminar on “Assessing the Threats of Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria’’.

Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, noted that the online media had misunderstood Nigerian Army in its handling of the war against terrorism in the North-East.

“We call on Nigerians, Nigeria press, especially the online media, to take note that they are Nigerians; they should behave like Nigerians and be patriotic,” he said.

“They should take the issue of defence and security as their personal issue, not to criticise, not to malign, not to smear anybody that is making sacrifice.

“Defence and security is issue that should be the concern of everybody, issues of security and defence are not just discussed like political issues.

“It is a serious national security issue that must be discussed with caution, it is must be discussed with high sense of patriotism, with high sense of security, national security and protection of our sovereignty.

“Whatever happens to the military it is the symbol of our sovereignty, so if you ridicule the military, if you ridicule any of the security agencies, you are ridiculing your own country; you are ridiculing your own sovereignty.”
“You must be very cautious in handing any issue that has to do with the army in particular. We are not politicians we are doing our job professionally.

“This is the understanding we expect every Nigerian to show. Normal administrative matters are not meant for criticism,” he said.

The chief of army staff decried a situation where some of the online media celebrated the death of personnel who paid the supreme price to make their country and its people secure.

He added: “We have a lot to do to ensure that the country is safe,’’ he said.

Mr. Buratai also emphasised that the fight against insurgency and terrorism required the support of every Nigerian.

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