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Avoid Amplifying Terrorist Activities, Information Minister Idris Appeals To Media

Information Minister Idris has urged journalists to focus on positive reporting that counters terrorist narratives and supports national security efforts.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, yesterday appealed to media owners and journalists in the country not to amplify the nefarious activities of terrorists, bandits, and other non-state actors striving to distort and destabilise peace, economic growth, and sustainable development.

He also noted that terrorism is not merely a physical threat, but also an ideological battle of the mind with the extremist groups exploiting vulnerabilities, spreading fear, and propagating messages that present them as fighting for a social cause, in order to further their depraved agenda.

The Minister, made this appeal, while declaring open, a two-day capacity building on, “Effective Reporting Towards Strengthening Alternatives To Terrorist Ideology,” organised by National Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of National Security Adviser (NCTC-ONSA), in collaboration with Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution (IPCR).

Idris told the Defence and Diplomatic Correspondents that to counter this extremist ideology, “we must offer compelling, positive alternatives that resonate with the same audiences targeted by terrorists. Therefore, your reporting plays a pivotal role in this endeavor”.

According to him, “The media holds an immense power to influence minds, shape narratives, and promote peace. In the fight against terrorism, the media can either undermine or bolster our collective efforts to provide alternatives to extremist ideologies. Through your reports, images, and commentaries, you have the unique ability to educate, inform, and inspire resilience among the public”.

In a keynote address, the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said the media contents can change people’s perception and attitude, galvanise solidarity, mutual trust, patriotism and national cohesion.

Represented by the National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser, Maj Gen Adamu Laka, the NSA, noted that the media is also expected to mobilise support to government and national security efforts, and strongly help to dissipate ignorance that makes some persons susceptible to terrorist appeals and violent extremism narrative.

Ribadu said terrorist groups have continued to provide dysfunctional information through social media platforms, networking sites, and online propaganda including mainstream and traditional mediums of communication in such a manner appealing for easy recruitment of many especially among the youths.

According to him, this is a situation that we must jointly combat to attain a safe and peaceful society that will guarantee sustainable socioeconomic development.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, said Nigeria’s democracy is being seriously challenged and her peace, constantly threatened by the activities of terrorist groups.

Represented by the Director, National Peace Academy, Dr. Bosede Awodola, the DG, said the problem is increasingly pervasive with associated criminality that is heightening the fear and insecurity in the country.

Ikechukwu Aleke

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