The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday cautioned media practitioners, and other Nigerians to desist from glorifying bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements.
He said praise singing them and making them appear stronger than security agencies only motivate the criminal elements to keep killing innocent citizens.
He stated this while also extolling officers and men of the Nigerian Army for the various successes recorded so far in safeguarding Nigeria’s territory.
Buratai spoke at the opening of the 2019 first quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference at Jaji in Kaduna State.
“It is gratifying to note that the NA within the First Quarter 2019 has performed creditably well starting with the seizing of initiatives and turning the battle momentum against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.
“And rounding up with the professional manner with which the NA supported the civil authorities, as part of our constitutional role, to ensure the successful conduct of the 2019 General Elections.”
“Despite reports of some alleged cases of infractions by some personnel, which are being investigated by a high level committee, I am elated with the encomiums and accolades showered on the NA for the high level of professionalism exhibited in the conduct of the elections. I say well done to each and every one of you.
“I must also acknowledge the resilience and doggedness of our troops in reversing the ugly trends that almost marred our concerted efforts in the North East,” Buratai said, noting that Boko Haram alliance with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) had been dealt with.
“That is why Operation YANCIN TAFKI was launched to effectively ensure the total destruction of the insurgents hibernating and operating from the ‘tumbuns’ with a view to crippling their ability and capability to wage any form of war.
“The operational successes recorded in this First Quarter 2019 in this fight have further underscored the NA’s resolve to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.”
Speaking on banditry and kidnapping in the North West and North Central zones, as well as criminality in other parts of the country, Buratai said new strategies are being adopted to address the ugly trends.
“This has necessitated the launching of operation HARBIN KUNAMA III.
“The concept of this operation will require the combat arms as well as all combat support and combat support services working in synergy with other security agencies, the traditional institutions and other stakeholders to get rid of criminal elements.
“We must ensure information flow that will be converted into actionable and timely intelligence for troops to take proactive measures and to support and drive targeted operations.
“It is important that commanders in the field relate with the society and other security agencies in their efforts to bring the high rate of kidnapping, acts of banditry and attacks on villages leading to killings in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina States to an end.
“There must be sustained synergy, cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders in these endeavours.”
On Nigeria media and other citizens to desist from praise singing criminals he said:
“I will seize this opportunity to caution the media and the general public not to glorify bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and ethnic militias to the extent that they are seen as stronger than the military and other security agencies.
“The criminals and bandits are only as strong as the society paints or view them and further propagated by the media. It is important to state that information and intelligence flows from the people and indeed from the press and the public.
“Such criminal activities are intelligence based and the people, are in this regard, to provide timely information and clear identifications of the perpetrators. Undue publicity and praise singing of the bandits and other criminal elements would only motivate them to commit more criminal acts at the detriment of the society.
“Therefore, the press, the general public, security analysts and public commentators are advised to show more maturity and due diligence in this collective effort of ridding the country of criminals and criminalities.”
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