Boko Haram: Buratai meets journalists, seeks improved media relations
Mr Buratai made the call during a dinner and interactive session organised for editors and defence correspondents in Maiduguri.
He said the call was imperative to check the spate of terrorists’ propaganda inimical to the successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.
Mr Buratai said terrorists had thrived on publicity to misinform the public, instill fear in the mind of the people and demoralise troops.
He lamented the spate of “campaign of calumny” against the military through social media platform by some organisations at the detriment of national security.
Mr Buratai described the allegations of human rights abuses against the military by Amnesty International, lack of equipment and nonpayment allowances to troops as misleading.
“The war against terrorism should be a collective responsibility for all, and not just a war between the army and the terrorist group.
“The war needs to be reported as it is, and enlighten the people to understand the situation and support the military,” he said.
Mr Buratai said the impact of the terrorists propaganda was one of the major challenges facing the military.
Mr Buratai said the dinner was organised to mark the beginning of a new page of military-media relation.
The army chief lauded the media for its effective reportage of the campaign against insurgency, restoration of peace in the Northeast and protection of life and properties in the country.
According to him, the military authorities have established a human rights desk to promote civil military relationship and enhance justice system as well as reorganise various divisions.
Mr Buratai said the military authorities had rehabilitated offices, house and office accommodation, clinics, equipment and initiated various programmes for the improvement of the troops’ welfare.
He reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to remain disciplined, professional and apolitical in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.
The army, he said, would do its best to end the insurgency, restore peace to the northeast, enhance security and protect the national territorial integrity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dinner was attended by Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Head of Military Training and Operations; Maj.- Gen. Benson Akinroliyo, The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole and Brig.- Gen. Bulama Biu, Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, and other senior military officers.
Others were some representatives of UN agencies, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigerian Institute of Public Relation Practitioners.