The Presidency has called on the Nigerian media to “eschew undue negativity and join hands with the government to promote peace, national security and political stability.”
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Reuben Abati, the Presidency condemned reports in the media which quoted President Goodluck Jonathan as accepting defeat, expressing helplessness and underestimating the magnitude of challenge posed by terrorism in the country, during a Christmas church service he attended with his family on Christmas day.
Abati said that the reports are “completely untrue and a mischievous misrepresentation” of the President’s actual words.
“President Jonathan’s verifiable remarks at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp Abuja were to the effect that in comparison with some other countries which have experienced the scourge of terrorism, Nigeria has made remarkable progress in dealing with the security challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency.”
In an effort to assert the Jonathan administration’s view of the war on terrorism as one it can win and which it is already winning, it frowned at headlines that read ‘Terrorism Has Come to Stay’ and ‘Insurgency Far From Over – Jonathan’, referring to them as inappropriate representation of the President’s remarks, which amounted to taking “extreme editorial liberties” with his comments.
The statement continued: “It is apparent that in their indecent haste to cast the most sensational and negative headlines, some editors never paused to consider that it would have been most absurd for a President whose administration has done so much to reverse the tide of terrorism, to publicly assert the contrary.”
“Interpreting those remarks, which are clearly in tandem with facts available to all objective observers of Nigeria’s war against terrorism, as an expression of defeat or helplessness, amounts to reckless scaremongering which can only serve the purpose of needlessly instigating fear among the populace and bolstering the confidence of criminal and unpatriotic elements,” Abati stated.
It insisted that President Jonathan simply highlighted the global challenge that terrorism has become as increasing source of concern in many countries. Therefore, in comparison to some of these countries, Nigeria has done reasonably well at reducing the rate of terrorist attacks within its territory.
The statement assured that the government, Armed Forces and security agencies will continue to build on the successes they have so far achieved against terrorists, insurgents and their sponsors.