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Gowon Condemns Amnesty International’s Report On Military


Public support for the Nigerian military’s on-going counter-insurgency efforts is crucial towards achieving peace and security in Nigeria, two former military leaders, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and  Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar have said.

They spoke at the public presentation of two books written by  Defence spokesperson, Maj. General Chris Olukolade in Abuja on yesterday.

The duo, along with former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana emphasised the role of the mass media towards ensuring popular support through increased public awareness.

Maj. Gen. Olukolade’s two books titled: “Issues in the mobilization of public support for military operations in Nigeria” and “The Voice and battles of the Nigerian military” were unveiled during a well-attended ceremony at the Nigerian Air Force Conference centre and Suites Abuja

In the goodwill message read on his behalf by Evangelist Austin Kemie, Gen. Gowon condemned the Amnesty International report which accused the Nigerian security forces of inhumane acts, stressing that the report is grossly misleading.

The former Head of State and other dignitaries also praised Maj. Gen. Olukolade for the manner in which he has been carrying out his responsibilities as the Nigerian military’s spokesman.

“Your response to the recent Amnesty International report on the Nigerian military and security forces’ alleged human rights abuse was most commendable as well.

“Their report was most unfair and misleading; they were alluding to the Nigerian military what the Boko Haram was doing against the Nigerian public – military and civilians alike.

“It is Boko Haram that has been committing atrocities and horrendous, mindless killings of innocent citizens and security personnel. It is Boko Haram that must be condemned, not the Nigerian armed forces.


“I therefore congratulate you on the publication of these two books which tells the Nigerian public and the world at large, the truth about the Nigerian military,” Dr. Gowon stated.

In Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s speech delivered by former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman, he noted the role of the mass media as a “force multiplier”, adding that the popular support it mobilizes can make a very crucial difference towards achieving military victory.

In another speech by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismaila Aliyu, he noted that the mass media is a force to reckon with in the process of carrying out any military campaign, adding that a professional like Gen. Olukolade knows what it takes to mobilise public awareness while sustaining military morale.

While Professor Jerry Gana spoke of the importance of constitutional democracy, good leadership and strategic thinking, he emphasized that the media can significantly influence citizens’ psychological disposition towards the country’s armed forces.

All the speakers eulogized Olukola’s intellectual contribution and the manner with which he has been carrying out his duties as an interface between the Nigerian military and the mass media.

While a representative of the Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko began a spate of launching with undisclosed amounts of money, millions of Naira were realized at the event.

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