By Uzair Adam Imam
The Coordinator, National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (NCTC-ONSA), Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa (Rtd), has called on journalists to avoid inaccurate and sensational reporting.
Musa also urges journalists not to be used to create fear and enhance kidnappers’ evil narratives.
He said that such stories could often be detrimental to public trust, exacerbate fear and anxiety, and even hinder counterterrorism efforts.
Speaking on Wednesday during the `Anti-Kidnap Multi-Agency Fusion Cell Media and Communication Workshop’, organised by ONSA in collaboration with the British High Commission, Musa made this call.
He stated, “The agenda setting role of the media cannot be over emphasised in the fight against terrorism and other associated crimes like kidnapping.
He further said that the large volume of kidnappings taking place in the country and the proceeds generated through ransom payments are being used to fuel terrorism.
He said, “Kidnapping for ransom has been identified as one of the means of funding terrorism. Thus, carnage unleashed by kidnappers in affiliation with terrorist groups all over the world leading to loss and disruption of lives and properties, is a major concern.
“Evidently, the kidnapping menace requires concerted and sustained efforts by every citizen, government at all levels, international community and the media which of course is the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
“You will agree with me that proceeds of kidnap for ransom enterprise have continued to serve as a platform for financing terrorism not only in Nigeria but across the Sahel.
“Hence the need for collective efforts in advancing measures to check the threat,” Musa added.