Nigerian military high command on Friday met with the leadership of the United States Interdisciplinary team for Assistance to Nigeria in the ongoing war against terror especially in the North Eastern parts of the country.
At the meeting, which was attended by Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin, Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amos, Chief of Air Staff, it was agreed that henceforth, Nigeria will not be pressured into disclosing operational information on efforts to locate the abducted Chibok girls.
While discussing the process in the collaborative efforts to recover the girls, “it was resolved that subsequent phases of the efforts will feature continuous engagement among the partners.”
Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr. Mike Omeri who made the disclosure during the briefing on government efforts to find the missing girls and general fight against insurgency in the country also stated efforts towards the safe return of the abducted girls are ongoing.
“There is the need for Nigerians particularly, the media to recognise the fact that the process of rescue could be hard and time consuming particularly when both the partners have agreed the issue of force is not often the priority”, Omeri said.
“Insurgency or terrorism wherever it reared its ugly head has always taken time an if you check the history of other countries like Sri Lanka, even America so, what we should be concerned about is whether efforts are ongoing or not and if we are doing our best and the Nigerian military will continue to do its best. We do not intend to resign our commission, we will keep doing our duty, as a matter of duty to fatherland and be sure that someday, with the cooperation of Nigerians, we should get to where we all desire”, he explained.
The Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) who also spoke about the recent confiscation of newspapers in parts of the north explained that “the military will not deliberately and without cause, infringe on the freedom of the press”.
According to him, “confiscation of newspapers has nothing to do with content or operation of the media organisations or their personnel”, since “the government and the military appreciate and, indeed, respects the role of the media as an indispensable partner in the on-going counter-insurgency operations and the overall advancement of the country’s democratic credentials”.
Commenting on reports that some countries were reluctant to help Nigeria in the fight against terrorism because of government’s corruption record, Omeri said in the past four years, Federal Government has done a lot to combat corruption.
He however, noted that “if there is insurgency and you accuse someone of corruption and you say because of corruption, you will no longer help in the fight against terrorism, then it speaks about your values; value on human rights, human lives and fight against terrorism. So I think that any country that is really concerned and wants to partner Africa, willing to partner Nigeria in the fight against terrorism must first fight insurgency.
“You know that there is a proverb in Africa that if your house is on fire, you will first fight the fire before you begin to search for the cause of the fire. Otherwise, by the time you found the source of the fire, you would have lost your house and you know that the government of Nigeria has set quite a number of efforts in fighting corruption”, he said.