By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed has challenged members of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) to join hands with Federal Government in sensitizing Nigerian populace on the need to support the military in the ongoing campaign to end insurgency in the country.
The Minister made the call on Thursday at a meeting with members of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria in Abuja.
Alh. Mohammed, who reiterated the resolve of federal government to end insurgency in the country stated that the proposed plan to launch a National Security Awareness Campaign against terrorism was part of efforts to providing the missing civilian component of the war against terrorism.
The campaign he said is aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the need to support the military, which according to him, had availed itself credibility in the battle, as well as to own the war.
He also stated that the campaign is aimed at alerting Nigerians on the need to be more security conscious, to be able to identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the weapon of choice being deployed by the cowardly terrorists, and also to fish out suicide bombers before they strike.
‘‘The Federal Government believes that the military has succeeded in massively degrading the capacity of the Boko Haram terorisms to carry out the kind of attacks they used to launch in the past, at highly vulnerable places like markets, motor parks, mosques, entertainment centre and schools, killing innocent people.
‘‘That is why we believe that as government, we must now sensitize our people, so that they can be more security conscious and help to end the spate of suicide bombing that are last vestiges of a fading insurgency.
‘‘We need all Nigerians to join hands together and we need very important organizations like yours, the broadcasting organization of Nigeria, to assist us in creating awareness among our people,’’ he added.
He called on the BON members to emulate the government owned media organizations to run the security awareness campaign messages on their stations, insisting that the security is the responsibility of all since the insurgent attacks does not have boundaries.
‘‘I know some will argue that unlike the NTA, FRCN or VON, they are privately owned and they need to make money to pay their workers and run their stations. That is legitimate argument, but the truth is that unless the station is at peace, the stations cannot even carry out their operations.
‘‘I insist that the war is not military war alone but collective one, that is why the media cannot afford to be neutral in the times of war, especially one that threatens the nation’s existence.’’
He therefore appealed to all BON members t assist the government in carrying the security awareness campaign messages to all the nooks and crannies of the country.