Jonathan to Nigerian Media: Eschew undue negativity

 
GOODLUCK 12The presidency today called on the Nigerian media to “eschew undue negativity and join hands with the government to promote peace, national security and political stability.”
The advice is contained in a statement by spokesman Reuben Abati protesting reports which quoted President Goodluck Jonathan at a Christmas church service as expressing pessimism about the war against terrorism.  Churches in at least two northeastern States were closed at Christmas.
The spokesman declared the reports to be “completely untrue and a mischievous misrepresentation” of what Mr. Jonathan actually said.
“President Jonathan’s verifiable remarks at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp Abuja were to the effect that in comparison with some other countries which have experienced the scourge of terrorism, Nigeria has made remarkable progress in dealing with the security challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency,” Abati said.
He added that headlines such as “Terrorism Has Come to Stay” and “Insurgency Far From Over – Jonathan” are incongruous with the thrust of the President’s remarks and amounted to taking “extreme editorial liberties” with his comments.
“It is apparent that in their indecent haste to cast the most sensational and negative headlines, some editors never paused to consider that it would have been most absurd for a President whose administration has done so much to reverse the tide of terrorism, to publicly assert the contrary,” the statement continued.
In terms of the substance of the remarks, he said Mr. Jonathan only pointed out that whereas terrorism remains a global challenge and a source of continuing concern in some countries, Nigeria has done comparatively better in reducing the incidence of terrorist attacks within its borders to a “reasonable level”.
“Interpreting those remarks, which are clearly in tandem with facts available to all objective observers of Nigeria’s war against terrorism, as an expression of defeat or helplessness, amounts to reckless scaremongering which can only serve the purpose of needlessly instigating fear among the populace and bolstering the confidence of criminal and unpatriotic elements,” Mr. Abati observed.
He described the war against terrorism as “very winnable” and that Mr. Jonathan’s administration as “steadily winning it” in Nigeria, adding that the government, the Armed Forces and national security agencies will continue to build on the successes they have achieved so against terrorists, insurgents and their sponsors.
President Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to reports in a section of the media on Thursday which quoted him as saying at a Christmas church service on Wednesday in Abuja that “terrorism has come to stay” in Nigeria describing them as completely untrue and a mischievous misrepresentation of his remarks.
Reacting on the President’s behalf, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said “President Jonathan’s verifiable remarks at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp Abuja were to the effect that in comparison with some other countries which have experienced the scourge of terrorism, Nigeria has made remarkable progress in dealing with the security challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency.”
Abati, a statement, said “headlines such as ‘Terrorism Has Come to Stay’ and ‘Insurgency Far From Over – Jonathan’ are therefore most incongruous with the thrust of the President’s remarks and amount to taking extreme editorial liberties with his comments at the church service.
“It is apparent that in their indecent haste to cast the most sensational and negative headlines, some editors never paused to consider that it would have been most absurd for a President whose administration has done so much to reverse the tide of terrorism, to publicly assert the contrary.
“While speaking at the Church where he worshipped, along with members of his family, his aides and some Ministers, President Jonathan only pointed out that whereas terrorism remains a global challenge and a source of continuing concern in some countries, Nigeria has done comparatively better in reducing the incidence of terrorist attacks within its borders to a ‘reasonable level’.
“Interpreting those remarks, which are clearly in tandem with facts available to all objective observers of Nigeria’s war against terrorism, as an expression of defeat or helplessness, amounts to reckless scaremongering which can only serve the purpose of needlessly instigating fear among the populace and bolstering the confidence of criminal and unpatriotic elements.
“Once again, we urge the media to eschew undue negativity and join hands with the government to patriotically promote peace, national security and political stability.
“The war against terrorism is very winnable and President Jonathan’s administration is steadily winning it in Nigeria. The Federal Government, the Armed Forces and national security agencies will continue to build on the successes they have achieved so against terrorists, insurgents and their sponsors.”

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