The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged the media to ensure accurate and patriotic reportage of the military’s fight against terrorism in the country. Mohammed gave the advice at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Friday.
He said that though the military had done extremely well in executing the war in the North East, the civilian components of the war, namely: advocacy, accurate and patriotic reporting as well as the de-radicalisation of the area, had been missing.
``I think they (military troop) need all our support, they need our encomium and clearly they have turned the tide in the way they have been executing the war.
``They need more support from us, but we have seen what has been missing from the war has been the civilian component.
``You see, nobody has ever been able to completely fight insurgency without the civilian component of the war and only us can do it.
``These civilian components of the war also include advocacy, de-radicalisation of the area.
``It also includes accurate and patriotic reporting of the efforts of the gallant soldiers.
We are not saying (you should) shut out the bad news and there are ways you can manage the adverse news.’’
The minister, who said the military had totally neutralised and decapitated the terrorists in the North East, urged media organizations to help win the war against terror.
``What is clear is that today, the insurgency has been totally neutralised. They have been decapitated.
``They don’t have the structure that enables them to mount spectacular attack like in the past but like any insurgency, they will also still continue to attack soft targets.
``That is why we also have a duty here to mount campaigns; that is why I was very happy with what I saw in the multi media.
``We must mount campaigns that will one Nigerians with the imminent deaths of the insurgency.
``They are going to concentrate on vulnerable areas like motor parks, like hotels, anywhere that are big congregation and that Nigerian should avoid such places as much as possible.
``And just like that your video on Our Neighbours; I think you need to improve on it and say all our people should be more vigilant.
``We should report strange movements. If we see a strange package, we should make report to the police.’’
According to him, the beauty about policing is that everybody knows who is neighbour is, that is why community policing is the most effective method of policing.
Mohammed urged media to develop jingle and create a platform to advise Nigerians on the need to upgrade the security during the festival period
``December is coming and I know that all over the world the insurgents will want to unleash a lot of casualty because they know that they are on their way out.
``And they know that in December like this, there will be gathering in villages, in churches and mosques. I think we should also upgrade the quality of security in all our public areas.
``It is better to be inconvenient than to have unfortunate situation that happened in Mali recently but by and large, our soldiers are extremely doing very well and we need to encourage them.’’