Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-General Azuibuke Ihejirika, yesterday in Lagos, expressed concern over the unpredictable and random nature of terrorist activities in the country, saying their modus operandi was posing a serious challenge to security forces in the country.
Ihejirika spoke at the Interactive Session on Military-Media Relations in Nigeria with the theme Enhancing Military-Media Relations Toward Improved Security.
He said: “In Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram sect and other terrorist groups continue to threaten peace and security while their modus operandi poses serious challenge to security forces in the country.
“The affiliation of the sect to Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabab has added an international dimension to its activities.”
COAS said it had been established that Islamist sect declared intent was the Islamisation of the entire Northern states of Nigeria without regards to constitution of the country, noting that any country or community whose citizens had high level of security awareness had greater chances of defeating terrorists.
He said the role of the media in warfare took root in the dynamics of the global security environment and explained that it was established that the primary goal of terrorists was to win the attention of the media both home and abroad, and decision makers in government.
Ihejirika said: “It is for this reason that terrorists carefully select the places in which they carry out their attacks to provide the best media coverage. On the whole, terrorists rely on the media as a tool to shrink the power asymmetry between them and the governments they fight, create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, legitimise their acts, and reach greater audience.
“All these attributes have come to play in the activities of Boko Haram here in Nigeria.”
and that explains why we need to continuously partner with the media to deal with the menace.”
Declaring the programme open, Minister of Defence, Dr. Olushola Bada, said apart from performing its primary role very well, the Nigerian Army had equally promoted the ideal of professionalism, integrity and discipline in all its engagement.