By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
…Urge Nigerians to stop glorifying criminal elements.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has expressed great concern over the ‘increased propaganda and undue publicity’ being given to the remnants of the erstwhile Boko Haram terrorist group by some people saying it is emboldening the ‘criminals’.
He said the worrisome development has further boosted the image of the criminal gangs thus making them assume larger than life status.
Speaking when Buratai visited troops in the North East, the COAS, therefore, pointed out that, “it is wrong for any person to eulogize or support murderers, bandits and armed robbers that the known Boko Haram terrorist group has turned into”.
He said that “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.
Buratai said, “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 the quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people.
His words, ” 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.”
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“Unfortunately, many Nigerians are not aware that giving prominence to the criminal activities of the terrorist’s 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 for all Nigerians to rally round our gallant troops as they fight these criminals.
Continuing he said, “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 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”, Buratai added.