By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE
THE need to see that Boko Haram is totally decimated and degraded by the military and to ensure that its operations against insurgents positively portrayed, has necessitated the military high command to seek for more support and partnership with the media.
Calling on the media not to report the military in bad light as the war against terrorism is not just against “the military but the Nigerian people,” the Director, Defence Information, (DDI) Col Rabe Abubakar said such “partnership and cooperation” is imperative, considering that the military is engaged in “an unusual combat against terrorist.”
Col Abubakar in a parley with the media at the Auditorium of the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information, (NASPRI) Bonny Cantonment explained that the military have had remarkable successes against Boko Haram hence the terrorists have resorted to attacking “soft targets in order to make themselves relevant.”
He said, “All their hideouts have been identified. The media have a tremendous role to play in educating Nigerian public. Support us in your reports; make your write-ups reflect positive aspects of our operations, use the technology at your disposal to drive useful information about military’s campaign against the insurgents knowing full well that terrorist organisation survives on information and it is the oxygen; live-wire they survive on to carry out illegal activities.
“The Nigerian military are not sleeping; we are coordinating properly with relevant stakeholders especially the Airforce. You have very important role to play in the area of sensitization, educating the populace and garnering support for the military in order to make it easier for us to win positively on time.
“Remarkable achievements have been made as a result of the purposeful leadership within the military high command. Moreover, the morale of the troops is high. Soldiers have not abandoned their weapons and refused to fight. We have equipment and armaments to prosecute the war,” Col Abubakar said.
The Defence spokesperson called on all and sundry to support the military to fight the insurgents noting that foreigners can only invest in a country where their investment is safe. “This is a national crisis that requires the support of the media,” he enthused.
On whether Boko Haram is religiously motivated, the Defence spokesperson said, “Boko Haram is not about religion, ethnicity but the activities of radicals who want to throw the country into chaos and war.”
Confirming that Boko Haram insurgents have resorted to poisoning source of water in Maiduguri, Col Abubakar noted that relevant agencies are taking necessary steps to tackle the trend. On Chibok girls,
“We have rescued a lot of women and as the operations are still on-going, with patience, they will be found. We are doing everything possible to rescue them alive,” Col Abubakar added.