The Ministry of Defence has issued a stern warning against media coverage of security areas in the Northeast region without due authorization from the Nigerian military.
The military said such unauthorized coverage was capable of jeopardizing the success of the on-going military operation.
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar in a statement in Abuja said that the military though was not trying to gag the press but was stressing that adequate permission ought to be sought from military authorities so that security would be provided for such journalist.
The statement reads in part: “It has been observed that certain journalists embark on coverage of security areas in the North East for documentary purpose and the likes without due authorization from the military authorities.
“This practice is not only capable of jeopardizing the success of the on-going military operations in the area but also poses great concern to the safety of the journalists concerned.
“Much as the military is not trying to gag the press from carrying out their legitimate duties, permission should be sought from the Armed Forces before embarking on such venture.
“This will enable adequate security to be provided for such journalists by the military.
“ Even though Boko Haram has been substantially decimated, any roaming journalist could be a target of unsuspecting fleeing Boko Haram member and this will not be in the best interest of media organizations and the nation at large.
“It is therefore, advised that any journalist desirable of covering conflict areas should seek permission from the military hierarchy so that adequate security arrangement could be provided by the troops on the ground.
“It is also the responsibility of the military to safeguard the lives and property of the Nigerian citizenry including law abiding journalists in the theatre of operation and in Nigeria in general.”