The Media Blog: Is like the Nigerian army don’t want to respect themselves

Plenty of bad news have emerged from reporters and storytellers focused relentlessly on the tragedy of the north – famine, institutional abandonment, official theft, recklessness.

Admittedly, even the positive stories reflect only well on the relentlessness of citizens, and not on a government that can still have, sometimes fatal gaps in its capacity.
So we understand why the security forces are jittery.
But the way they have decided to respond is only going to make them look worse, trust us.

Yesterday, the Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar suddenly woke up from sleep and said anyone telling stories in a country where there is freedom of movement must take permission first from his people, of course because of the ambiguous ‘national security’.

He says: “It has been observed that certain journalists embark on coverage of security areas in the North East for documentary purpose and the likes without due authorization from the military authorities. This practice is not only capable of jeopardizing the success of the on-going military operations in the area but also poses great concern to the safety of the journalists concerned.”

Then he says: “Much as the military is not trying to gag the press from carrying out their legitimate duties, permission should be sought from the Armed Forces before embarking on such venture. This will enable adequate security to be provided for such journalists by the military. Even though Boko Haram has been substantially decimated any roaming journalist could be a target of unsuspecting fleeing Boko Haram member and this will not be in the best interest of media organizations and the nation at large.”

We call bullsh_t on this. Bullsh_t.

The editor-in-chief of this paper was everywhere in the a North East last year, including Chibok, with photographers, and he didn’t need any protection.

Journalists from local and international media have been reporting in these areas for more than two years without major incident. If they wanted protection, they would ask. Mostly they don’t ask because we know that when they do, the oga soldiers are incredibly hostile.

We just had a reporter, Eromo Egbejule, do a series from 8 villages in the North East, and not once did he have any challenges. Interviewing people in Biu does not affect the war on Boko Haram in any way.

The army is looking for a way to control narratives. Someone needs to inform them that that war is already lost.

Stop wasting your time.


PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, opeds etc) send us a mail on[email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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