Nigerian government warns media not to become “playground for terrorism and destabilization”

1,037FollowersFollow

The Nigerian government on Thursday warned media houses not to become “playground for terrorism and destabilization”, saying that journalists must maintain a fine line between freedom of the press and national security.

The spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Garba Shehu, quoted heads of intelligence and security agencies as issuing the warning at the presidential palace.

Why it matters: Nigeria is holding an election next year and the warning by the government may be an avenue to muzzle the media ahead of a tough election the president would be going into with poor ratings.


In the midst of the debate over the right to freedom of expression and the government’s efforts to ensure that the digital space and the mass media generally do not become a playground for terrorism and destabilization, security agencies in the country have given assurances that they would maintain a balance between openness and national security.

They have, however, called on the nation’s media owners and practitioners to walk the fine balance between openness on one hand and national security on the other.

Speaking at an interactive meeting with owners and decision makers in the media at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, gave assurances that the security situation in the country was within the control of the government and that this can be helped where the media reduced sensation from their daily coverage.

In their own assessment, “our state of national security is not as bad as it is painted by the media.”

In seeking the support from the media towards the achievement of security for everyone, the heads of the agencies emphasized that sharing and coordination among security agencies and the media is essential to counter the ever-changing threats faced by the nation.

The Security chieftains expressed the particular worry that there are groups in the country with evil designs to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections in the hope of creating a stalemate.

They warned the media against the activities of some unregistered groups that have lately been active in trying to undermine critical institutions such the law-enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The security heads also called for closer cooperation from the media to prevent terrorists and radical ideologies directed from abroad from undermining the ongoing efforts to restore security in parts of the country facing the challenges of terrorism, economic sabotage, criminality, farmers-herdsmen clashes and the spread of illegal weapons.

In a special submission by the NIA, its Director-General recalled unsavoury developments of the last one year, which had put the agency in a negative limelight, but said that such developments were not peculiar to the Agency.

“Similar institutions across the world have passed through this phase. What is, however, important is for the right lessons to be learnt from these developments.

I see these challenges as impetus to reposition the Agency for effective service delivery in realization of its core mandate, as a critical component of our National Security Architecture,” he said.

Ambassador Abubakar appealed for media support to enable the agency to reform and remain focused on tackling the challenges of international nature facing the nation which included terrorism and violent extremism manifested in activities of Boko Haram (BH), ISIS, AQIM, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, Ansaru, among others.

He said the nation also faced threats from the human trafficking and illegal migration, smuggling, slavery, forced labour, prostitutions, drugs trafficking, activities of drug cartels and their networks, as well as trafficking in small arms and light weapons (SALW).

According to the DG, “Financial Crimes, identification of financial resources and properties suspected to be obtained by corrupt means belonging to Nigerians especially Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs); Herdsmen and Farmers clashes, cattle rustling etc; Piracy and Militancy, particularly in the Niger Delta: Oil theft, illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism; and Cyber Crimes/ Cyber security: activities of online fraudsters, hacking etc. will henceforth receive priority attention.”

The intelligence and security chieftains also expressed the view that the Nigerian media has a role in securing Nigeria’s national interest.

This expected role of the press is in tandem with global best practices, particularly on issues that have bearing on national security.

They, therefore, invited the media “as partners to continue to be security conscious and exercise restraint in disseminating information that could expose the Services to ridicule or harm our National Security,” stressing that, “Prior consultation with appropriate members of the Intelligence Community is the best way to go.”

 – Garba Shehu 

Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Trending Now

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden says he’s concerned about escalating violence in Ethiopia and worries about civilians

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday said he was concerned about the escalating violence in Ethiopia. In a call with the United Nations...

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks with Presidents of Kenya, Argentina and Costa Rica, and UN chief

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday spoke with world leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the second African leader after his...

Biden to use walking boot for several weeks after sustaining fractures while playing with dog, doctor says

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden sustained a sprain of his right foot while playing with his dog, Major, his doctor said on Sunday. "Initial X-rays are...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

Nigerian-American Adewale Adeyemo makes history as President-elect Biden announces members of his economic team

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key members of his economic team, including Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury; Neera Tanden as...

President-elect Joe Biden slips while playing with dog, twists ankle

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. slipped while playing with his dog, Major, and twisted his ankle. The President-elect is being examined at Delaware Orthopaedic...

U.S. House members ask Trump admin to put on hold deportation of asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other African countries

United States House of Representatives members on Tuesday called on the Trump administration to put on hold the deportation, slated for Wednesday, of asylum-seekers...

U.S. ‘appalled by persecution of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong’

The United States government said on Thursday it was "appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s courageous pro-democracy advocates." "The...

In first sit down interview since defeating President Trump, President-elect Biden identifies the four crises he’ll face

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday identified the four crises his incoming administration will face when he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris...

U.S. must stop vilifying immigrants, says Biden homeland security nominee Alejandro N. Mayorkas

The United States "must stop vilifying" immigrants, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said on Thursday,...

Biden: We can and must do more for people with disabilities – statement

Statement by President-elect Joe Biden on United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities Today, Jill and I join with communities, advocates, and activists around...

Democrats and Republicans finally get serious about COVID-19 relief deal before Christmas

The Democrats and the Republicans are finally serious about reaching a COVID-19 deal before Christmas, as new cases increase and hospitalizations and deaths expand...

52,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Africa from 2.1 million infections, the lowest death toll in the world

More 52,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Africa from over 2.1 million infections, according to the latest data released by the Africa CDC. The...

President-elect Biden appoints Brian Deese as Director of the National Economic Council

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced on Thursday that veteran economic and climate expert Brian Deese will be appointed to serve as Director of the...

U.S. ‘appalled by persecution of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong’

The United States government said on Thursday it was "appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s courageous pro-democracy advocates." "The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo...
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
error: Alert: Content is protected !!
WhatsApp
Share
Tweet
Pin
Share