Gentlemen of the press,
You are welcome to the joint press briefing by the Joint Security Information Committee. This briefing is in keeping with our commitment to constantly update the general public, through the media, on the security situation in the country. We appreciate and indeed thank you, the media, for the sense of professionalism and patriotism which majority of you have so far displayed in the coverage of our internal security challenges. Together we have achieved some level of success in managing these problems.
As we have always pleaded, we need the media to help us sustain and consolidate on the achievements recorded in our prosecution of the war against terror and other forms of insecurity. We have enjoyed a level of cooperation so far but we have also noticed an ugly trend of sensationalism that tends to threaten the relationship between the media and the military, and between the security agencies.
STOP ATTACK ON SECURITY FORCES’ MORALE
This Committee has also noted with great concern the orchestrated attack on the morale of the Nigerian security forces engaged in the fight against terrorism by a section of the political elite. They make frivolous and unfounded claims and allegations on welfare of soldiers under the pretext of being more caring for the welfare and condition of Nigerian soldiers but their intention is to encourage indiscipline and ultimately mutiny.
This set of Nigerians has taken up every available media platform to disparage efforts of the leadership of Nigerian Armed Forces in the fight against terror. Indeed, the tendency is propelled by nothing altruistic other than to curry undue political capital out of the unfortunate crisis in the north east. They have not only accused the military and security authorities of denying the soldiers and other security personnel of their entitlements, they have been spreading the sick rumour that the gallant Nigerian soldiers are grumbling over inadequate resources and lack of motivation to take on the insurgents. These unfounded allegations and outright rumour mongering are, to say the least, callous, mischievous and inimical to the wellbeing of our national security.
It is encouraging however that in spite of the false claims which are intended not only to ridicule the efforts and integrity of the security forces but to weaken their morale and destroy their cohesiveness, our gallant personnel are determined more than ever before to bring terrorism to an end in our country.
This forum wishes to reassure the Nigerian people that the military and security agencies will not be deterred from the commitment to defend and protect our dear country from any form of insecurity or aggression. The security forces will continue to put in their best and in no distant future, the dividends of these efforts will be incontrovertible.
RECAP ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Gentlemen of the press, let us use this forum to inform you that simultaneous operations are ongoing nation-wide to address every form of insecurity such as insurgency, oil theft, kidnapping, vandalism, communal clashes, cattle rustling, trafficking in arms and persons, etc. Let us discuss in more details some of these efforts:
COUNTER-TERRORISM IN THE NORTH EAST
The onslaught on terror is ongoing in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. In the wake of relentless bombardments of their bases by the security forces, fleeing terrorists resorted to attacking soft targets including Federal Government College in Buni Yardi and other areas with a view to maintaining a false sense of invincibility. There is no respite yet for the terrorists as the security forces have continued to launch air raids on their suspected bases while mop up operation by the ground forces are being intensified. Consequently, scores of the terrorists have either being killed or apprehended and assorted weapons including machine guns and improvised explosive devices have been recovered. Useful information are also extracted from the confessions of those in the custody of the security forces while patrols are sustained.
Director Defence Information