Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, a former Chief of Army Staff, at the weekend, said that before his appointment as COAS, Nigerians were already feeling a sense of defeat psychologically.
He said they were having the feeling of defeat by Boko Haram terrorists because their powerful propaganda machinery had demoralized Nigerians.
Buratai spoke at the unveiling of three books authored by Mallam Jibrin Ndace, a veteran defence correspondent in Abuja, namely “Walking the War Front with Lt. Gen. TY Buratai,” “Duty Call Under Buratai’s Command” and “The Lonely Grave and Other Poems.”
He said: “With the bombings at United Nations House, the bombing of the Police headquarters, the bombing of the Nyanya Motor park, the bombing of Abacha barracks market and the propaganda, Nigerians became afraid and began to feel a sense of defeat psychologically.
“On assumption of office as COAS and to change this narrative, I had to bring in (embed) journalists while confronting the insurgency. We began what we called information operations. This helped a lot in our psychology operations in which Defence Correspondents played significant and patriotic roles.
“For the first time in Nigeria’s history, we had journalists in the forefront with us. Media operations something that is critical, which is called information operations or psychological operations in the Military.
“It was necessitated by the fact that Nigerians were feeling defeated unfortunately by the Boko Haram propaganda machine. When we came in, we had to defeat that spirit of fear of Boko Haram.
“The media operations was one of our strategies to ensure that this propaganda was eliminated from our minds hence we ensured the press went along with us to achieve this purpose”.
“There are those among us that might have done beyond the call of duty or underperformed and measures are taken to redress those. But the narrative of generalizing should not be so.”
He congratulated the author Jibrin Ndace because he is a highly committed individual, a core professional journalist, a patriotic Nigerian who has shown so much commitment in supporting the armed forces and other stakeholders that have made one contribution or the other in our counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts.