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Army commander tasks media to deny Boko Haram freedom to operate

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Army commander tasks media to deny Boko Haram freedom to operate

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Farouq Yahaya has called on the media to deny Boko Haram terrorists the freedom to operate.

The over a decade long insurgency has claimed 36,000 lives with property worth $9.2 billion (about N3.42 trillion) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

Yahaya made the call at the weekend while hosting journalists for a luncheon to the Borno media community at Maimalari Cantonment Officers’ Mess, Maiduguri.

“The already existing cordial and mutual relationship between the media and Operation Lafiya Dole was to enhance our synergy in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

According to him, enhancing synergy with the media and other stakeholders is in line with the Army Chief of Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru’s vision.

He said the vision is for the Army to “reposition and professionally” defeat all adversaries in the joint military operations in the northeast.

While appreciating the media, he said: “The various outfits of the media; which are critical stakeholders in the fight against terrorism.

“They are unique in their roles to restore peace in the northeast and nation.”

He noted that the media has a critical tool to apply and ever-increasing roles in informing and educating the people; as well as shape public opinions over counter-terrorism operations.

He added that it’s an important requirement that could enhance the army’s operations, particularly when they are effectively harnessed and deployed to terrorists’ enclaves.

He said the terrorists’ hideous, are located in the Sambisa Forests, Lake Chad region and Mandara Hills in Gwoza council of Borno state.

Yahaya, therefore, urged the media to effectively play its roles in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the northeast.

He said with the importance of the press, Army/Media interactions be sustained on a quarterly basis.

According to him, the media is one of alternative lines of army operations to kinetic ones.

On denying terrorists’ freedom of operations, he said: “The media non-kinetic operation is essential that could be harnessed increase public awareness and persuasions over Boko Haram recruitments of youths and supporters.”

He noted that as the masses are often exposed to mischievous media messages and propaganda from terrorists, the media could effectively counter them.

He urged the media not to relent in counter-terrorism propaganda in the fight against Boko Haram and security challenges facing the nation.

“The media should continue to be our partner in this fight against insurgency by effectively deploying your professional skills and confidences for the good of our beloved country,” noting that this could end the war and restore peace in the region.”

Continuing, he added that; “You should also deny that support to the criminals, including the freedom of Boko Haram to operate in the front lines of forest and the shores of Lake Chad in Borno.”

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