By Hamza Suleiman
Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), on Saturday called on the media to support the military to defeat Boko Haram insurgents.
Buratai made the call during a dinner and interactive session organised for editors and defence correspondens in Maiduguri.
He said that the call was imperative to check the spate of terrorists’ propaganda inimical to the successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.
Buratai noted that terrorists had thrived on publicity to misinform the public, instilled fear in the mind of the people and demoralised troops morale.
The COAS lamented the spate of campaign of columny against the military through social media plaform by some organisations at the detriment of national security.
Buratai described the allegations of human rights abuses against the military by Amnesty International, lack of equipment and non payment allowances to troops as misleading.
“The war against terrorism should be a collective responsibility for all, and not just a war between the army and the terrorist group.
“The war needs to be reported as it is, and enlighten the people to understand the situation and support the military,” he said.
Buratai noted that the impact of the terrorists propaganda was one of the major challenges facing the military by even discouraging the troops at the frontline.
He stressed the commitment of the Nigerian army to maintain cordial and mutual relations to enable it to end insurgency and enhance national security.
Buratai added that the dinner was organised to mark the begining of a new page of military media relation.
The army chief lauded the media for its effective reportage of the campaign against insurgency, restoration of peace in the Northeast and protection of life and properties in the country.
According to him, the military authorities have established a human rights desk to promote civil military relationship and enhance justice system as well as reorganised various devisions.
Buratai disclosed that the military authorities had rehabilitated offices, house and office accomodation, clinics, equipment and initiated various programmes for the improvement of the troops.
He reitrated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to remain disciplined, professional and apolitical in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.
The army, he said, would do its best to end insurgency, restore peace to the northeast, enhance security and protect the national territorial integrity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dinner was attended by Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Head of Military Training and Operations; Maj.- Gen. Benson Akinroliyo, The Theartre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole and Brig.- Gen. Bulama Biu, Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Devision, and other senior military officers.
Others were some representatives of UN agencies, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigerian Institute of Public Relation Practitioners (NIPR).