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Lai Mohammed Minister urges media to stop 'giving oxygen' to Boko Haram attacks

He also urged the media to not only report the attacks but also mention the military’s achievements against the sect.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has urged journalists to stop glamorizing the attacks of terrorist sect, Boko Haram.

He also urged the media to not only report the attacks but also mention the military’s achievements against the sect.

The minister made the comments on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, during an appearance on Channels TV.

“Just as I said in my meeting with the newspapers editors in Lagos on the 21st of December, the military has largely met the deadline to defeat Boko Haram, and the military has matched the capacity of terrorists to carry out the attacks they used to,” Mohammed said.

“Of course, I also mentioned that the terrorists will continue to attack such targets as markets, motor parks, entertainment centres and houses of worship; and this is exactly what is going on. We know that in an insurgency, the war does not end in one day.

“The attack on soft targets will continue, but we also want to appeal to the media to stop giving oxygen to the Boko Haram insurgency. When we glamorize the attacks, it gives the terrorists more life and in a time of insurgency like this, the media also has a role to play, which is not to glamorize the attacks.

“What is happening is not unexpected; what is happening is what will happen in any insurgency. But the fact of the attack is that Boko Haram has been sufficiently defeated. Boko Haram can no longer take any territory away from us.

“And if you look at the context, about a year ago, Boko Haram had complete control of 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno state. There were about six local governments in Yobe and about four in Adamawa.

“If today, Boko Haram is operating from one or two local governments in the entire country, I think the military has largely succeeded in wiping out Boko Haram.

 “It is possible for the insurgents to lay ambush on the road. That does not mean that they are in control of that local government. I travelled 89 kilometres from Maiduguri to Bama. Now NEMA had an interview recently in which they confirmed what we are saying.

“We are not saying that we are going to rout or eliminate ambush or attacks overnight. What we are saying is that given the fact that less than a year ago the entire North- East is in their complete control, today they don’t have that kind of command.

“And given what the army had done in the last couple of months, we are very hopeful that before the end of the year, a lot of progress would have been made. But if anyone thinks this is a regular war, then he is mistaken,” he said.

Mohammed had earlier attracted criticism for saying that the war against the sect had largely been won.

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