TERRORISM REPORTING: FG TASKS MEDIA ON PATRIOTISM, NATIONAL INTEREST

TERRORISM REPORTING: FG TASKS MEDIA ON PATRIOTISM, NATIONAL INTEREST

The Federal Government has tasked media practitioners in Nigeria to be patriotic in their reportage of matters of terrorism and National Security, as well as to guide against inadvertent glorification of terrorist acts and spread of fear in the country.

HMINO, Mohammed Idris (8th Right); National Coordinator NCTC, Maj Gen AG Laka (9th Right); Director, National Peace Academy, Dr Bosede Awodola (7th Right); and other officials in a group photograph with participants at the workshop
HMINO, Mohammed Idris (8th Right); National Coordinator NCTC, Maj Gen AG Laka (9th Right); Director, National Peace Academy, Dr Bosede Awodola (7th Right); and other officials in a group photograph with participants at the workshop

The Minster of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris gave the charge while declaring open a 2-day training on “Effective Reporting Towards Strengthening Alternatives to Terrorist Ideology,” organised for Defence and Security Correspondents by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Hon. Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, addressing the participants at the workshop on Tuesday

According to him, terrorism is not merely a physical threat; it is an ideological battle of the mind with the extremist groups exploiting vulnerabilities, spreading fear, and propagating messages that present them as fighting for a social cause, in order to further their depraved agenda.

National Coordinator, NCTC, Maj Gen AG Laka (Left), making a presentation to the HMINO, Mohammed Idris

“To counter this, we must offer compelling, positive alternatives that resonate with the same audiences targeted by terrorists. Therefore, your reporting plays a pivotal role in this endeavor,” he says.

Idris stressed that while sensational reporting could inadvertently glorify terrorist acts and spread fear, misinformation and fake news could be as damaging as the terrorist acts themselves. “You must avoid this at all cost!” the Minister emphasised.

He commended the NCTC and, in particular, the Office of the National Security Adviser, for their proactive efforts in the fight against terrorism as well as the numerous success rescue operations of kidnapped victims, which he said were not publicised.

A Cross section of Officials and participants at the workshop
A Cross section of Officials and participants at the workshop

In his words, “In advancing the frontiers of the fight against terrorism, the NCTC has sustained a strategy of regular engagement with the media. This approach significantly contributes to shaping public perception and understanding of the complex issues surrounding terrorism and national security.”

Similarly, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, in his remarks, called on media practitioners to produce contents that would counter or prevent the appeals of terrorism and other non-state armed groups.

National Coordinator, NCTC, Maj Gen AG Laka, making remarks on behalf of the NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

The NSA who was represented by the National Coordinator, NCTC, Major General Adamu Garba Laka stressed the need for robust media campaigns against terrorism, violent extremism and all other forms of organised crime that are threatening the corporate existence of the country.

“We beckon on you to always use your various media outfits to give Nigeria a good name, this will not only attract more Foreign Direct Investments that will improve our lives individually and collectively but that it will better position the country in the comity of nations,” he says.

Participants in a group photograph with the National Coordinator, NCTC and other officials at the workshop
Participants in a group photograph with the National Coordinator, NCTC and other officials at the workshop

Earlier, the Director General, IPCR, Dr Joseph Ochogwu who was represented by the Director, National Peace Academy, Dr Bosede Awodola noted that the media in Nigeria and indeed globally, remain the most credible source of news and information for the majority of people. He stressed the importance of conducting such workshops for media personnel working in relations with the NCTC to enable an improvement in the reportage of events, in respect to terrorism ideology and violent narratives from extremist groups.

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