Daily Trust: We Have No Intention Of Muzzling The Press – Army

We Have No Intention Of Muzzling The Press – Army

 

The Nigerian Army says it does not have any intention to silence the press.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, stated this in reaction to the shut down the offices of Daily Trust by security personnel in Abuja and Maiduguri.

He explained that the security operatives were at the offices to invite the staff of the newspaper over a story published on Sunday.

Brigadier General Usman alleged that in the process of publishing the story, classified military information was revealed.

According to him, the newspaper disclosed details of planned military operations against Boko Haram insurgents, thereby undermining national security.

The Army spokesman added that this amounted to sabotaging the planned operations and endangering the lives of troops in the disturbed region.

The shutdown of the offices of the newspaper sparked widespread criticism while the Presidency ordered the security operatives to vacate the premises.

Having complied with the Presidential directive, the Army called on the media to be professional in its duty and insisted that it has no intention to silence the press.

Read the full statement below;

The Nigerian Army wishes to clarify on alleged invasion of Media Trust Headquarters in Abuja and regional office in Maiduguri. We would like to state that soldiers of the Nigerian Army along with elements of Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies were indeed at Abuja and Maiduguri offices of the publishing company to invite the staff of the company over its lead story on Sunday Trust publication, which divulged classified military information, thus undermining national security.

In it, the newspaper made disclosed details of planned military operations against the Boko Haram terrorists. The disclosure of classified security information amounts to a breach of national security and run contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act.

It afforded the Boko Haram terrorists prior notice of our plans and giving them early warning to prepare against the Nigerian military, thus sabotaging the planned operations and putting the lives of troops in imminent and clear danger.

We would like to state that the invitation of those responsible for divulging military plans was done with the best of intention in order to make them realise the import of such acts to our national security.

We, therefore, advice all, particularly journalists, not to worry but engage in their responsive reportage and to be professional as the Nigerian Army has no intention of muzzling the press or jeopardising press freedom.

We, however, wish to enjoin further that they should eschew jeopardizing national security in their reportage. We would not tolerate situation where a publication would consistently side with terrorists and undermine our National institutions.

We wish to appeal to all, especially the media, to join hands with the Nigerian military and security forces to end terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.

We would like to further assure that the invitation is for further investigation and if need be, all those culpable of jeopardising operations security will be prosecuted by the relevant law enforcement agency.

You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.

SANI KUKASHEKA USMAN

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

Soldiers Storm Daily Trust Offices In Abuja, Borno

Photo by Daily Trust showing men of the Nigerian Army invading the head office in Abuja on Sunday.

 

Some armed soldiers on Sunday invaded the office of Daily Trust in Abuja and Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The CEO and Editor in Chief of the medium, Mannir Dan-Ali, confirmed this in a phone interview with Channels Television.

According to him, the soldiers stormed the Maiduguri office around 4:00 pm and whisked away two members of staff.

About an hour later, some other soldiers also went ahead to shut down the Abuja office.

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“Around four o’clock, I got a call from our Maiduguri office where I was informed that soldiers and some plain-clothes security officials had surrounded our regional office and forced their way in and after spending about 20 minutes, they now went away with two of our reporters (the Bureau Chief Mr Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Mr Ibrahim Sawab.

“An hour or so, thereafter, I also got another call because I happened to be outside Abuja, driving back into Abuja. So, I got another call saying that soldiers had come to our head office and that they’ve forced themselves into the premises. And eventually they asked everyone to leave the premises and then they confiscated some computers from our editorial department where tomorrow’s paper is being prepared.

“Obviously, the aim is to prevent the Daily Trust from being on the street tomorrow.

“Now I’m actually close to the office. I’ve gone to the gate, I’ve seen the soldiers who are manning the gate and they have shut down our five floors and all the lights are off and that’s the situation as I speak to you now,” Dan-Ali said.

Herdsmen Kill One In Cross River

Herdsmen Kill One, Injure Three In Adamawa StateThe Cross River State Police Command, has confirmed the death of Mr Etim Okon Akpan following a clash between Fulani Herdsmen and members of Obio-Usere community in Odukpani LGA of the State.

Confirming the unfortunate incident to newsmen at the State Command Headquarters in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, the Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, said though normalcy has returned to the community, the police is doing all it can to bring to book the perpetrator of the killing.

 

CP Inuwa noted that, the death of the aged man followed an attack by the community on one of the cows belonging to the herdsmen which led to the reprisal attack where a life was lost.

He frowned at the action of the Herdsmen and reiterated the fact that, no one has the right to take laws into their hands by killing a fellow human being.

After a pattern of killings allegedly perpetrated by Fulani Herdsmen in Abraka Community, Ethiope Esat Local Government Area of Delta, it leaves the community worried and afraid to access their farms

According to the community members, they have lived with Fulani Herdsmen who have depended on them as host communities for the provision of basic needs such as grains, shelter and indeed, husks from the harvest.

But the sudden turn of events where Herdsmen have abandoned this long mutually-beneficial relationship, by taking up arms against the community calls for serious concern as some of them have been made fatherless, motherless and even orphans.

They are appealing to the government and security agencies to investigate the activities of the herdsmen and bring them to justice.

Saraki Appoints Baba Ahmed As Chief Of Staff

Saraki Appoints Baba Ahmed as Chief of StaffSenate President, Bukola Saraki has appointed Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed as his new Chief of Staff.

In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Senator Saraki says the appointment takes immediate effect.

61-year-old Baba Ahmed was educated at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; London School of Economics and University of Sussex, both in the United Kingdom.

He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

He was permanent secretary at various times in the Presidency and later Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He later became Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He is a holder of the national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The new Chief of Staff to the Senate President is a columnist with the Daily Trust Newspaper.