Daily Trust Story Threatened National Security, Army Explains Reason For Occupation
The Nigerian Army has explained that soldiers sealed off the headquarters of Media Trust Limited, publisher of Daily Trust and Sunday Trust yesterday, Sunday because it published story that threatened national security.
“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.”
A statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, explaining the reason for invading the two premises of the newspaper company, said that the newspaper disclosed details of planned military operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.
According to the statement, the disclosure of such classified security information amounts to a breach of national security and run contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act.
“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 realize the import of such acts to our national security. We therefore advice (sic) 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 jeopardizing 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 jeopardizing operations security will be prosecuted by the relevant law enforcement agency.”
The offending article