There are many fifth columnists in armed forces – CDS

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh,
said on Wednesday there were “fifth columnists’’ in the
armed forces leading to conflicting information emanating
from the military.
Badeh made the allegation in Abuja, while reacting to some
presentations at the start of a three-day workshop on
“Security/Media Relations in Crisis Management’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat
was organised by the Office of National Security Adviser in
conjunction with Trim Communications Nig. Ltd.
“If your people are misleading you, what do you do? There
are too many fifth columnists.
“There was a report which says oh, we have seen some of
the Chibok girls, only eight are missing, it was a very senior
officer that gave that information from Chibok area.
“We are dealing with that situation. That was when people
started saying watch what Maj.-Gen. Olukolade, the Director,
of Defence Information says. He was misled by one of us,’’
Badeh said.
Badeh urged journalists to be guided by national interest
while reporting the ongoing counter-insurgency operations
in the North east.
Badeh advised that although they might know many things
concerning the operations but they should not report things
that would hurt or create panic in the people.
Asked to assess the performance of the media so far, he
said, “I would not say it has been what we are looking for.
“Because without pointing accusing fingers, some
newspapers celebrate when anything bad happens to this
country.
“They really celebrate it, maybe because of politics.
President Jonathan cannot be doing everything.
“When an institution has small problem, you do not go and
say the president has failed,’’ he said, adding that journalists
should endeavour to verify their report before publishing.
“If you know how many condolence messages I have
received that my house is burnt, that my whole village has
been burnt; but no Boko Haram has gone to my village.
“I do not know whether it is me they want to bring down or
the president that they want to bring down, that is the media
for you.’’ he said.
Also, the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo
Dasuki, urged the media to be diligent in their reportage of
the operations.
He said that the country was facing “significant security
challenge’’.
Represented by Prof. Soji Adelaja of the NSA Office, he said
that terrorism was new to the nation and cautioned against
reports and pictures that could affect the image of the
country.
The chairman of the occasion, retired Gen. Martin Luther
Agwai, said that there was need for the media and security
agencies to partner in handling the current situation.

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