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The Chief of Civil Military Affairs of the Nigerian Army, Major Gen. Markus Kangye, has explained that the situation where criminals are encouraged to surrender does not mean that they will evade prosecution for crimes committed.
Kangye stated this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, at the opening ceremony of the 14th edition of the Social Influencers Seminar which held at the Watbridge Hotel and Suites, Uyo, with the theme, “The Evolving Role of the Social Media in Support of the Nigerian Army Non-kinetic Line of Operations”.
He said, “the recent surrendering of Boko Haram Insurgents and their humane reception by the Nigerian military has been perceived negatively by the online community and by extension Nigerians.
“However, this development ought to be a testimony of the effectiveness of the efforts put in place by the military to defeat insurgency. It is essential to note that tackling insecurity generally involves the use of kinetic and non kinetic methods. These methods are complementary and situations, where criminals are encouraged to surrender, does not mean they will evade prosecutions for crime committed.”
He also lamented that the giant strides recorded by the Nigerian Army in the war against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and others have remained largely underreported by the Nigeria media.
Kangye noted that most media organisations prefer to over sensationalise issues rather than celebrate gallantry, adding that such acts only give credence to the activities of criminals and boost their morale.
“I make bold to inform this gathering that the Nigerian Army is making giant strides in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, and other forms of criminality in the country. Unfortunately, such efforts are always under-reported thereby undermining the unrelenting efforts and sacrifices of our selfless soldiers at tackling insecurity.
“Conversely, most media houses prefer to propagate sensitive reportage that scare and attract negative attention rather than headlines geared towards celebrating the gallantry and efforts of our troops,” he said.
“Such acts give credence to the activities of criminals as well as boost their morale and confidence to commit more crimes.”
However, he expressed the hope that such narratives would change for the better as the Army interacts with the media professionals and shares ideas towards eradication of ‘fake news syndrome.’
He explained that the seminar is expected to provide an avenue for enlightening the media about developments in the Nigerian Army, saying a lot is being done through the Department of Civil Military Affairs since its inception in 2010 to bridge the perceived gap.