By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has urged Nigerians to stop glorifying criminals and giving them undue publicity.
Buratai noted that increased propaganda and undue publicity
given to the remnants of the erstwhile Boko Haram terrorists group by some has further boosted the image of the criminal gang thus assuming larger than life status.
Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa said in a press statement that the COAS made the plea while visiting troops in the North East.
According to the statement, “Consequently, referring to such gang of criminals, bandits, insurgents such as Boko Haram Terrorists Group, JAS or ISWAP in Nigeria could amount to supporting or encouraging terrorism.
“The Chief of Army Staff said that it is also important to note that the mode of operation of these elements, is pure criminality for personal gains. It is common knowledge that the criminals no longer pretend to be championing any cause other than quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people.
“He pleaded that as peace loving people, Nigerians should not be glorifying these criminals by calling them by any name other than “criminals,” “rapists,” “kidnappers”, “armed robbers” and “murderers.”
“Unfortunately, many Nigerians are not aware that giving prominence to the criminal activities of the terrorists group through sensational headlines and fake news in both electronic and print media could also amount to tacit support to terrorism which violates the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
“It is therefore important that all Nigerians to rally round our gallant troops as they fight these criminals. All should know that the support to the efforts of the Armed Forces Of Nigeria in the counter terrorism efforts would boost their morale and it will be highly appreciated.
“The Nigerian Army is asking for the continued understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians and well meaning people. He further stated that all troops have been enjoined to henceforth go all out to deal decisively with these criminals.
“They are nothing but bandits and armed robbers. Let’s support our military to ensure a secured Nigeria,” the statement added.