The Nigerian Army has reacted to the invasion of Daily Trust Office. Soldiers invaded offices of the popular media on Sunday, arrested staff and went away with some pieces of equipment.
Dailyfamily had reported the incident claiming that the soldiers left the premise late on Sunday after receiving a directive from the presidency.
The director of Army Public Relations, Sani Kukasheka Usman issued a statement on today to clarify what necessitated the invasion.
According to the Army, the newspaper disclosed classified military information, which undermined national security.
Here is the statement: “The Nigerian Army wishes to clarify on the alleged invasion of Media Trust Headquarters in Abuja and the regional office in Maiduguri. We would like to state that soldiers of the Nigerian Army along with elements of Nigeria Police Force and other 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.
“In it, the newspaper disclosed details of planned military operations against the Boko Haram terrorists. The disclosure of 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 an 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, advise 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 a 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.”