Boko Haram: US team meets Nigerian military

Nigerian military high command on Friday met with the leadership of the United States interdisciplinary team for assistance to Nigeria in the on-going war against terror especially in the North Eastern parts of the country.

A statement issued Friday night by Chief of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, said a major highlight of the meeting was a decision to stop disclosing operational information on the counter-insurgency activities of the military.

At the meeting, which was attended by Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah;  Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amos, 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.”

Quoting the 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 the statement 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 partners have agreed the issue of force is not often the priority,” Omeri said.

“Insurgency or terrorism  has always taken time and if you check the history of other countries like Sri Lanka and the United States of America, what we should be concerned about is whether efforts are ongoing or not and if we are doing our best. 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 assured 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 indispensable partners in the on-going counter-insurgency operations and the overall advancement of the country’s democratic credentials.”

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