The Federal Government has expressed concern over “irresponsible statements’’ on the nation’s security challenges by some highly placed Nigerians, accusing them of instigating citizens against the government.
Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said Nigeria was in need of unity not divisive utterances and actions.
Maku particularly frowned at recent comments by Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa on the security challenges in the North East zone of the country, saying that such statements should not have come from a retired military officer and a serving state governor.
“Each time the security people strike at targets, there is a lot of public uproar and propaganda which is weakening our national resolve to fight terror.
“This nation deserves security at this time even in the heat of this, you hear some irresponsible comment coming from highly placed people, including a governor in recent time.
“This nation is in need of unity, but the way we are playing to the gallery, we are making irresponsible statement; we are making statement that will divide the country; we are making statement that divide public opinion; we are making statement that set the citizens against security services and the government of this country.
“Nyako is the former Chief of Naval Staff; he is someone that has worn the uniform before and to publicly incite the people against the security forces of this country is the height of irresponsibility.“
According to him, such utterances have the tendency to create panic in the country.
“When people reach a certain age, they should mind the kind of things they say.
“Maybe, young people like you and me can make unguarded statements due to lack of experience. But for people that have known the difficulty this country is going through and the kind of effort that is being made by the Federal Government, to come out and make statements that can divide the country at a time that we need national unity and national healing, is grossly irresponsible.“
Maku, however, reassured that the nation would definitely defeat terror and urged the citizens to always be security conscious and maintain vigilance around their localities.
The minister also urged the media not to report in such a way as to arouse public anger, but to do so to support the security services in the fight against terrorism.
“One thing we must not allow is to create lack of morale to the security services because we don’t have alternative today to those services.
“And I know that security services are one of the best services in this continent with a lot of commitment and discipline.“
On the abducted school girls, Maku said that the security forces had intensified efforts to rescue them without harm.