Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, has cautioned the public against “glorifying bandits and kidnappers”.
Buratai spoke on Wednesday at the opening of the 2019 first quarter chief of army staff conference at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna state.
He said it is unpatriotic for the media and Nigerians to glorify criminals, giving the impression that they are stronger than the military and other security agencies.
According to him, “undue publicity and praise singing of the bandits and other criminal elements would only motivate them to commit more criminal acts at the detriment of the society.”
“I will seize this opportunity to caution the media and the general public not to glorify bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and ethnic militias to the extent that they are seen as stronger than the military and other security agencies,” Buratai said.
“The criminals and bandits are only as strong as the society paints or view them and further propagated by the media.
“It is important to state that information and intelligence flows from the people and indeed from the press and the public.
“Such criminal activities are intelligence based and the people, are in this regard, to provide timely information and clear identifications of the perpetrators.
“Therefore, the press, the general public, security analysts and public commentators are advised to show maturity and due diligence in this collective effort of ridding the country of criminals and criminalities.”
The army chief said the successes recorded in the first quarter of 2019 in the fight against terrorism have underscored the resolve by the Nigerian army to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
He said new strategies, including the recent launch of operation HARBIN KUNAMA III, are some of the measures being adopted to address the prevailing banditry and kidnapping in the north-west and north-central regions of the country.
He called for cooperation and synergy between all Nigerians and security agencies to aid the war against insecurity.