Obtain clearance before covering military operations in N/East, DHQ tells media

THE Defence Headquarters, on Wednesday, said it observed that certain journalists embarked on coverage of security areas in the North-East for documentary purpose and the likes without due authorisation from the military authorities.

It said the practice was not only capable of jeopardising the    success of the ongoing military operations in the area but also posed great concern to the safety of the journalists concerned.

In a statement, the Defence headquarters said much as the military was 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. 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 organisations and the nation at large,” the statement noted.

“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,” the statement added.