The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has appealed to journalists to put Nigeria’s interest first in their reportage.
Buratai made the appeal on Tuesday in Maiduguri, at a dinner for National Executive members of Nigeria Association of Women journalists (NAWOJ), who were on an on the spot assessment of the security situation in the North East.
The COAS was represented at the event by Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, Chief of Logistics (Army).
“I am giving you a message today, let your colleagues know that whenever they put down something about the military on paper, they should ask themselves if it is in the interest of the nation.
“Many times we fail to understand that some of these issues we feed the public are fuelling this crisis that we are working so hard to bring to an end,’’ he said.
Buratai thanked the national leadership of NAWOJ for taking out time to see for itself the situation in the Northeast, where he said returning peace to the area “is a job being done for Nigerian women.
He said in spite of intermittent attacks, the security situation in the zone is “acceptable’’.
He pledged that the Nigeria Army would collaborate fully with NAWOJ in its sensitisation drive to give the girl child, youths and women in the North East hope for a better future.
Earlier, Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, the National President of NAWOJ, told Buratai that the women journalists were in Maiduguri to see for themselves; and tell the world that peace had returned to the zone.
“People have asked me; Why Borno? I tell them, we have our sons, our brothers, our cousins and husbands there who are fighting to make Nigeria safe.
“Women are getting free from violence and rape, socio-economic activities are gradually returning,’’ Omowole said.
The NAWOJ president said the association would ensure that the efforts of the military in tackling the insurgency were not hampered by negative media reports.