The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Friday pleaded with Nigerians to desist from celebrating insecurity by helping terrorists and criminal elements in spreading their propaganda on the social media.
According to Buratai, if we celebrate insecurity, we will continue to live with insecurity.
The army chief made the plea, while fielding questions at a news conference to herald activities to mark the 2018 Nigerian Army Day Celebration in Maiduguri.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NADCEL is scheduled to hold between June 29 and July 7 in Monguno, Borno North.
Buratai said: “Insecurity generally is a challenge to everybody, but there is no challenge that is insurmountable.
“I think if we get the support of the media and other stakeholders against negative publicity, I think we will be able to reduce drastically the spread of Boko Haram propaganda.
“As far as I am concerned, the major challenge is the Boko Haram propaganda which wittingly or unwittingly is being spread by so many others, especially the social media.
“If we are patriotic enough, we should see the insurgency and all other security challenges across the country as a national challenge.
“If we eschew propaganda by Boko Haram and other individuals who have their own interest to destabilise this country, then I assure you we will find the quickest solution to all the security challenges.
“If we celebrate insecurity, then we will continue to live with insecurity.’’
On why NADCEL is being held in Borno North, the army chief explained that it was to consolidate on the achievement so far recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
He said: “Bringing the celebration here, we want to show that the Nigerian army has lived to its billings, it has walked the talk.
“We have degraded the Boko Haram terrorists, but many people across the country still believe that the terrorists have not been degraded to the point that people move around normally to do their own businesses.
“This is the stabilisation phase of the operation. We want to stabilise, this is why many people – IDPs are moving back to their communities.’’
Buratai said holding NADCEL in Borno North was an indication that peace was returning to the area, which he said had the greatest challenge in the nine years of insurgency.
According to him, the area is not only vast but shares border with neighbouring countries.
On Sunday killings on the Plateau, Buratai described it as unfortunate, but added that appropriate steps were being taken to forestall a reoccurrence of such incident.
He said more troops; including Special Forces had been deployed in the state.
On NADCEL, the army chief said it was celebrated as “a constant reminder of the sacrifices paid by troops, most of who laid down their lives to ensure we remain united as a nation.
Buratai said: “This celebration is also designed to array Nigerian Army personnel and equipment as well as showcase the combat capability of the Nigerian Army.
“Furthermore, the celebration affords us the opportunity to celebrate our evolution, achievements and also to showcase our transformational strides in the area of innovation, research and development, civil military relations and technological advances.
“This is in addition to projecting the Nigerian Army as an instrument of national unity, integration and development.
“This year, the Nigerian Army will be marking 155 years of its existence, dating back to its inception in 1863.’’