Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has pleaded with journalists to stop portraying the personnel of the Nigerian Army in bad light.
Buratai spoke at a two-day civil-media-military relations summit organised for journalists in the Southeast.
The COAS accused print and broadcast media journalists of painting the Nigerian Armed Forces negatively than positively to their audiences.
Buratai, who was represented by the Chief Training and Operations Officer, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Eno Obong Udoh, noted that an organisation like the Nigerian Army cannot rule out bad eggs among its personnel.
The Army chief accused the media of demoralising the military personnel who he said stake their lives to keep the nation safe.
“How can you be vilifying the same people that are staking their lives and their troops everyday and actually paying the supreme price for you? How can you be vilifying them every day?
“Some people will just sit down on television, holding discussions only about the Nigerian Army, thinking that they will win awards for doing so.
“This (summit) is a great and historic occasion that will hopefully create the awareness of what the Nigerian Armed Forces and all the security agencies are doing in this country to curb the mirage of security threats that is facing this nation so that there can be development in our great nation; so that Nigeria can be as great as it is supposed to be.
“In 2007-2008, our oil production level was only 700 barrels per day. Who has forgotten that? Today, people are saying: why should Nigerian Army defend pipeline? Is it because we are not producing? Is it because we are not producing 2.2 million barrels and above per day? Or should we go back to 700 barrels per day?
“Not too long, bombs were exploding in the whole Abuja, even the UN (United Nations) building was hit. Today, because of the efforts of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, nothing of such is happening again. “Only some days back, the UN building was opened and people now have the atmosphere to sit down and keep on vilifying the same people who made this possible. One of those offenders is the media; the greatest offender. This is because you (media) shape public opinion.
“The media is the one who is emphasising on the casualties of Nigerian Army as against the casualties of Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and so on. You are the one writing and supporting them unwittingly through your publications. By so doing, you demoralise the troops.
“The media forget that they should be the one raising the morale of the troops who have put their lives on the line. The media is the greatest offender and this historic event is not just for Atilogwu Udo; it is to correct the wrong impression or perception that we spread in our media, that the Nigerian Army is against the people.”
Buhari Arrives In London [PHOTOS]
President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in London ahead of the inaugural United Kingdom-Africa Investment Summit holding on Monday.
This was announced by the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Mr Bashir Ahmad, on his social media handles early Saturday morning.
ORIENTAL TIMES understands that the London Investment Summit would be hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
According to the organisers, the event is expected to bring together African leaders, international business chief executives and heads of international organisations “to create new partnerships that will deliver more investments and jobs” to the benefit of people and businesses in African countries and the United Kingdom.
”Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK-Africa Partnership for Prosperity, issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.
”With the expected take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area in mid-2020, the London investment summit will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to project itself as a leading investment destination for new industries.”
The president is expected back in Abuja on Thursday.
Biafra: We Have No Regrets Fighting Civil War — Gowon
Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has said his administration had no regret going into the Biafra war because it was necessary to keep Nigeria one.
The ex-military dictator said this in a special interview he granted the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the Nigerian civil war, on Wednesday.
He said, “The war was fought to keep Nigeria one, not for other reasons as is being speculated in some quarters. It is because of this that we don’t have regrets about fighting the war.
“We fought because of our love for our country. That is why at the end of the war, we declared that there was no victor, no vanquished.”
The retired general, however, cautioned those he said were trying to turn back the hands of time with their conduct and utterances to desist from doing so in order to prevent a descent into chaos.
Why I’ll Ensure Free, Fair Elections In 2023, By Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to bequeath a free and fair electoral culture when he hands over in 2023 because he is a product of a free and fair contest.
The President spoke at a dinner with members of the legal team for the 2019 presidential election petition on Thursday in Abuja.
The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, recounted the turnout of Nigerians during his presidential campaigns to the 36 states of the Federation in 2019 convinced him that his re-election was not a fluke.
“The number of people that turned out in every state across the country was more than anybody can buy or force.
“This gave me so much confidence and the election proved that with the votes I got.
“That is why I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election,” he said.
The President told the legal team that he was already looking forward to a peaceful hand over in 2023, stressing that he was morally bound to fulfil that wish.
“Morally I want to have a clear conscience. I swore by the Holy Book that I will abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I will continue to do my best and I hope that by 2023, I can handover quietly to whoever succeeds me and I wish him the best of luck,” he said.
The President commended the legal team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN for the outstanding legal successes recorded in the presidential election petition.
He praised the team for the effective legal strategy that thrived in piloting his election litigation.
“You creditably demonstrated a deep understanding of the law and its practices and I am indeed proud of you all.
“I am confident that by securing a convincing and unanimous legal victory at the Supreme Court you have by so doing ensured that the political mandate of the Nigerian electorate is now firmly secured,” he said.
The President added that the legal team’s enormous contributions have affirmed the rule of law and further entrenched democratic governance in Nigeria.
“This legal team is an assemblage of some of the most scholarly legal teams ever assembled in this country.
“I must note that the aforesaid legal successes recorded through your excellence have assisted me in fulfilling this government’s desire for a better Nigeria,’’ he said.
On behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the President told the team to accept his commendations and best wishes for their meritorious service.
Olanipekun said the legal victory was won based on the facts of the law, stressing that the President never used his position or office to influence the decision of the Courts.
The lead counsel said: “The courts were allowed to do their job, Mr President and I must commend you for that Sir. Nobody whispered to anyone of us, how we are going to see Judge A or Judge B. That’s the way it should be. Judges must be allowed and be given free hand to do their job.
‘‘Mr President, we are happy to have been called upon and we are happy that we delivered. ’’
On electoral reforms, Olanipekun acknowledged that while the National Assembly was doing something about the Electoral Act, the Act requires some ‘‘rejigging and cleansing.’’
‘‘We are happy to know that the National Assembly is doing something about the Electoral law.
‘‘We are ready to cooperate with them without taking a dime, whether as consultants, whether as legal practitioners, whether as experts. If the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) will co-opt us we are ready to give assistance,’’ he said.
Olanipekun commended the President’s commitment to the rule of law, saying ‘‘it is the surest legacy Mr President can bequeath to our dear nation.’’