The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, on Friday, came short of asking Nigerians and the media to stop discussing or reporting Boko Haram.
He said terrorists were being giving “undue publicity” which has further boosted the image of the sect.
Col Sagir Musa, Acting Director Army Public Relations, in a statement, disclosed that Buratai made the remark in Maiduguri during a visit to troops in the North East.
Buratai said that it was wrong for any person to eulogize or support murderers, bandits and armed robbers that the known Boko Haram terrorists group had turned into.
The statement quoted the Army Chief as saying that it is also important to note that the mode of operation of Boko Haram, ISWAP, JAS and others “is pure criminality for personal gains”.
“It is common knowledge that the criminals no longer pretend to be championing any cause other than quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people,” he said.
He pleaded that as peace loving people, Nigerians should not be glorifying these criminals by calling them by any name other than “criminals, rapists, kidnappers, armed robbers and murderers.”
“Unfortunately, many Nigerians are not aware that giving prominence to the criminal activities of the terrorists group through sensational headlines and fake news in both electronic and print media could also amount to tacit support to terrorism which violates the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
“It is therefore important that all Nigerians to rally round our gallant troops as they fight these criminals.
“All should know that the support to the efforts of the Armed Forces Of Nigeria in the counter terrorism efforts would boost their morale and it will be highly appreciated.
“The Nigerian Army is asking for the continued understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians and well meaning people”, Buratai said.