• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Why soldiers invaded Daily Trust’s offices – Nigerian Army

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The Nigerian Army Monday offered explanation over its invasion of
Daily Trust offices on Sunday.

Recall that the headquarters of Daily Trust in Abuja, and its Lagos
and Maiduguri offices, were invaded by soldiers, who took away some
staff and and computers.

However, the Army has since predicated its action on Sunday Trust’s
lead report, which it said divulged classified military information.
Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brigadier-GeneralSani Usnan,
in a statement, said the publication was contrary to sections 1 and 2
of the Official Secrets Act.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to clarify on alleged invasion of Media
Trust Headquarters in Abuja and regional office in Maiduguri. We would
like to state that soldiers of the Nigerian Army along with elements
of Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies were indeed at
Abuja and Maiduguri offices of the publishing company to invite the
staff of the company over its lead story on Sunday Trust publication,
which divulged classified military information, thus undermining
national security.

“In it, the newspaper made disclosed details of planned military
operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.

“The disclosure of classified security information amounts to a breach
of national security and run contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the
Official Secrets Act”, Usman said.

He insisted that the publication had revealed Army’s planned operation
to Boko Haram fighters.

“It afforded the Boko Haram terrorists prior notice of our plans and
giving them early warning to prepare against the Nigerian military,
thus sabotaging the planned operations and putting the lives of troops
in imminent and clear danger.

“We would like to state that the invitation of those responsible for
divulging military plans was done with the best of intention in order
to make them realise the import of such acts to our national
security”, Usman stated.

He maintained that the invasion was not an attempt at muzzling the
press, the DAPR.

He, however, warned that the Service will not tolerate acts of sabotage.
His words: “We therefore advice all, particularly journalists, not to
worry but engage in their responsive reportage and to be professional
as the Nigerian Army has no intention of muzzling the press or
jeopardising press freedom”.

“We however, wish to enjoin further that they should eschew
jeopardizing national security in their reportage. We would not
tolerate situation where a publication would consistently side with
terrorists and undermine our National institutions.

“We wish to appeal to all, especially the media, to join hands with
the Nigerian military and security forces to end terrorism and
insurgency in Nigeria. We would like to further assure that the
invitation is for further investigation and if need be, all those
culpable of jeopardising operations security will be prosecuted by the
relevant law enforcement agency.”