Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, has warned the media against leakage of Nigeria’s military operational plans to the public to avoid jeopardising the fight against Boko Haram.
Recall that on January 6, 2019, Nigerian Army troops invaded the offices of Daily Trust Newspapers in Maiduguri, Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna. This happened right after the newspaper reported massive troop movement around the Borno town of Baga, which the Nigerian Army had earlier claimed was not occupied by Boko Haram.
The Army spokesperson had accused the newspaper of disclosing details of planned military operations against Boko Haram terrorists.
Speaking at the event organised by the Directorate of Army Public Relations in collaboration with Nigerian Guild of Editors, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers and Guild of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria in Abuja, Buratai said ending terrorist intransigence in the North-east was topmost priority.
“Let me use this opportunity to stress that the commitment of the Nigerian Army to maintain cordial and mutual relationship to enable it end terrorism and insurgency and enhance national security is our top most priority.
“Therefore, your effective reportage of the campaign against insurgency, restoration of peace in the North-east and protection of lives and properties in the country will go a long way to counter the terrorist narrative”, he said.
The army chief said the leakage of operational plans of the military in the media was inimical to national security.
“It is pertinent to note that not all information regarding military operations will be made available to you, due to some obvious reasons.
“This is because we are also ‘gatekeepers’ in keeping secret of vital military operations for national security. “However, when such operations are conducted, relevant details will be made available to the media for public consumption.
“It is important to note that the leakage of vital information on military operation like the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram terrorists is inimical to national security as this will give our position to the terrorists and give them upper hand in their psychological war against the troops,” he said.