Security chiefs in the country have raised the alarm over “evil designs” by some groups in the country to disrupt the 2019 elections.
They said this during an interactive session with some media practitioners, in Abuja, on Thursday, according to a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman.
“The security chieftains expressed the particular worry that there are groups in the country with evil designs to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections in the hope of creating a stalemate,” Shehu quoted them as saying.
He said the security chiefs present at the session were Lawal Daura, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS); Ahmed Abubakar, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA); and Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff.
“They warned the media against the activities of some unregistered groups that have lately been active in trying to undermine critical institutions such as the law-enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission,” Shehu said.
The presidential spokesman said the security heads called for closer cooperation from the media “to prevent terrorists and radical ideologies directed from abroad from undermining the ongoing efforts to restore security in (some) parts of the country”.
He added that they also assured of maintaining a balance between the debate over the right to freedom of expression and the government’s efforts to ensure that the digital space and the mass media generally do not become “a playground for terrorism and destabilisation”.
They were also quoted to have said: “Our state of national security is not as bad as it is painted by the media.”
They were reported to have sought the role of the media as partners in securing Nigeria’s national interest by continuing to be security conscious and “exercising restraint in disseminating information that could expose the services to ridicule or harm our national security”. (The Cable)