Boko Haram degraded; victims returning home- Interior Minister
The Federal Government has stated that Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East has been degraded and routed out from their major enclaves while victims of their atrocities are returning home.
The Interior Minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau made the disclosure at the Regional Seminar on Media Engagement in Crisis Management organised by the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Minister said: “The war in the North-East with the Boko Haram has been fought and won. The Boko Haram elements have been routed, degraded and are being decimated
“The task before us is winning the peace, as the victims are gradually returning to their homes and the government is rebuilding, reconciling, and rehabilitating the victims. And this is where crisis Communication and management becomes indispensable in building confidence and consensus among the people”
The Minister, who was represented by Director Press and Public Relations, Mr. Willy Basey, also called on the media to support the peace-building and political stability through fair and objective reportage. He said:
“The government and the media are partners in progress. Activities and programme of government, if not properly disseminated by the media, could create a gulf between the people and the government, therefore engendering crisis.
“Members of the Fourth Estate of the realm, therefore, need to safeguard this fundamental role in ensuring the internal cohesion, unity and harmony as well as peaceful coexistence in the polity, rather than fanning the embers of war, disunity, ethnic and religious disharmony, panic and fear, as is being experienced in the social media.”
Emphasizing on the importance of social media, Dambazau pointed out that modern technology tools could be deployed for the good or for the bad. He therefore called on communication experts to evolve strategies which could be used to improve communication between government and the people, so as to avert crisis.
While commending the CCC for organizing the seminars, General Dambazau said Centre had chartered the right path for other non-governmental agencies (NGOs) to follow.
He said “As a partner with government in enhancing stability in the polity and growth in the socio-economic sphere, as well as enhancing communication between and among the various stakeholders in the country, this achievement marks the Centre out as a reliable partner of government in managing crisis situations.”
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the Centre for Crisis Communication, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd) said the Centre has been providing strategic support and intervention in crisis and information management to 17 critical stakeholders and the public.
Anas said that the Centre has evolved proactive measures and systematic approach to crisis communication aimed at filling existing communication gaps. Adding that the seminar is one of the initiatives and interventions the centre has lined up to enhance the service delivery of stakeholders in crisis.
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