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War Against Terror: Stop Publishing Misleading Photographs FG Tells Media

Published by Daily Times on Sat, 24 May 2014

The Federal Government on Thursday expressed concern over photographs being published by the media on the ongoing war against insurgency, saying they could mislead and create wrong impression in people.Mike Omeri, the Coordinator, National Information Centre, said this in Abuja while giving an update on the operations to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls at a joint news conference.``The centre notes the emerging trend of misleading photographs published by the media.``The truth is that these photographs give wrong impressions in the minds of members of the public on efforts of the government in checking the current security challenges in the country.``We take this opportunity to appeal to the media and other groups to refrain from releasing information of any kind that can harm the ongoing security operations against insurgency, he said.Omeri, however, said government welcome the growing assistance by the international community in the effort to rescue the girls and re-unite them with their families.He thanked the coalition of social groups in the country, including Civil Society Organisations and trade unions for supporting the quest to rescue the girls.``I assured them that there is light at the end of the tunnel, he said.On the Tuesday twin explosions in Jos, Omeri said government was determined to fish out and prosecute the perpetrators and gave the assurance that terrorism and other forms of crimes would be defeated.In a related development, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday, described the allegation of genocide against the Nigerian military by a Kaduna-based cleric as ``diversionary and unfortunate.The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja.He said ``the DHQ wishes to unequivocally dissociate the military from any involvement in the alleged genocide , as depicted in graphic pictures, which appeared in the front page of one of the national dailies on May 22, entitled: ``Alleged Killing Field in Borno.He said that while the military continued to respect freedom of expression of Nigerians, it would not submit to desperate blackmail and propaganda aimed at diverting attention and pitching public opinion against the armed forces.Olukolade, however, reiterated the determination of the military to continue being a professionalforce, whose operation was guided by high standard of professional ethics.He said ``at no time or event in the course of the counter-insurgency operation, had troops embarked on extra-judicial killing of civilians as exhibited in the gory pictures.``The location and occasion where the events captured in the pictures were taken were unknown and had no bearing whatsoever as insinuated in the report.He advised the media not to make itself available to those who were desperate to tarnish the good name of the Armed Forces.
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