From UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
Director-General, State Security Service, Ekpenyong Ita yesterday, said terrorists craved media attention for their dastardly actions to intimidate and instil fear in the people. He made the disclosure while declaring open a week-long security training programme for the media at the SSS-owned Institute for Security Studies, Bwari, Abuja.
Ita explained that the objective of terrorist groups was to maximize publicity for their attacks to have a larger than life reputation. He, therefore, urged journalists to avoid sensationalism in their reportage, while considering national security in their responsibilities of providing information to the public.
The DG said most terrorist groups pursued the interests of their sponsors, but noted that nobody knows the interests being pursued by the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram “as they do not represent Muslims.” Ita observed that terrorists often got more attention from the media than security agencies that strove to protect the nation from the evil machinations of such violent groups as the Boko Haram sect.
He said: “Publicity is the oxygen craved by terrorists. When they carry out attacks, they want as much publicity as possible and when the media sensationalise such an attack, the terror groups have achieved their objectives of getting wide media publicity which is aimed at intimidating and instilling fear in people.” “Acts of terrorism are over-covered by the media while the activities of security agencies were under-covered.
Terrorists strive to project the interests of those they are acting for but we don’t know the interest Boko Haram is fighting because they don’t represent Muslims.” In a paper presented at the workshop, the Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority, Alhaji Musa Maiyaki, spoke on the need for a cordial relationship between the media and security agencies as it concerns threat against terrorism.
He noted that terrorists thrived on media exposure and flayed the government for treating Boko Haram like a ground troop. END