Heads of security agencies said they have uncovered plots by some groups to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, quoted the security chiefs as saying this at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, during an interactive meeting with owners and decision makers in the media.
He listed the security chiefs that spoke as the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.
Shehu said they warned the media against activities of some unregistered groups that had lately been active in trying to undermine critical institutions, such the law-enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said the security heads also 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 parts of Nigeria, facing the challenges of terrorism, economic sabotage, criminality, farmers-herdsmen clashes and the spread of illegal weapons.
He said they also, in the midst of 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 destabilization, assured that they would maintain a balance between openness and national security.
The presidential spokesman said the security chiefs, however, called on media owners and practitioners to walk the fine balance between openness on one hand and national security on the other.
He said the security situation in the country was within the control of the government and that this could be helped, where the media reduced sensation from their daily coverage.
Shehu quoted the security chiefs as saying “Our state of national security is not as bad as it is painted by the media.”