The Federal Government says it will soon launch a massive national campaign in support of the Nigerian Armed forces in their fight against insurgency and insecurity. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this at a media briefing in Abuja.
In his words; “We are planning to launch a national campaign to rally support for the military. We believe the men and women who are risking all to keep us safe deserve the support and prayers of all Nigerians, not vilification, insults and other acts that are capable of dampening their morale”.
The minister said the campaign, which will be similar to the previous ones launched by the ministry on burning national issues such as fake news and hate speech, insurgency and the fight against corruption, will mobilise Nigerians irrespective of their political leanings to show support for the military.
“I think it is high time that everybody, irrespective of political affiliation, joined in supporting the war (against insurgency). It’s not unusual, as a matter of fact it’s usually the practice, that when a country is faced with this kind of challenge, people will sink their differences and work together. So, very soon, you will expect to hear from us on this campaign to support the military in the fight against not just insurgency but in the fight against insecurity,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said the national campaign, which will be multi-faceted, will include the production and airing of special jingles on radio and television, social media intervention and advocacy.
The Minister decried how some Nigerians, particularly opposition politicians, have made it their pastime to wage a campaign of disinformation against the military on the social media, saying such unpatriotic acts are discouraging and demoralizing the men and women in uniform.
He also expressed concerned that the activities of a section of the media and some opposition political parties are demoralizing the military and strengthening the insurgents saying without seeking or waiting for official clarification, outrageous casualty figures are prominently reported.
He said these was being done without consideration for national security, military plans are recklessly revealed insisting that not even in the United States, the bastion of democracy, does this happen”.
Alhaji Mohammed said even though the government would neither censor nor gag the media, journalists must strike a balance between the constitutionally-guaranteed freedom to receive and impart information and national security.