The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has observed that many media houses in Nigeria give unnecessary attention to the activities of terrorists, bandits, and separatists.
The secret police has therefore cautioned against such practices, saying the aforementioned criminals should not enjoy free media coverage and publicity.
The DSS in a statement on Friday by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya said it has observed that certain media houses prefer to sensationalize news about security challenges in Nigeria.
It however warned that such practices must stop as it is counter-productive.
Speaking specifically about the Anambra governorship election scheduled to hold on November 6, the DSS expressed concerns over sensational reports, saying restraint needs to be applied in reporting happenings from the state.
The full statement reads: “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to draw public attention to the manner sections of the media have continued to sensationalize news relating to some of the security challenges in parts of the country.
“It is observed that some media handlers give unnecessary attention and coverage to the activities of bandits, terrorists, and secessionists. This is condemnable given that these elements thrive on undeserved publicity which they enjoy from media patronage.
“Amidst heightened insecurity in the South East and the upcoming Anambra State Governorship election, the media is advised to apply restraint and avoid sensationalizing news. The DSS believes that this dimension of reportage holds negative consequences for public order and peaceful coexistence.
“The Service will, however, continue to collaborate with appropriate stakeholders to ensure not only a hitch free electoral exercise but that a conducive environment necessary for citizens to pursue their legitimate businesses in and outside the State is provided.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.) has said it is not ideal to declare bandits who have and are still killing Nigerians daily as terrorists yet.
Naija News reports that Magashi stated this on Friday, October 29 during a chat with reporters in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
According to him, there is the need to follow due process before declaring bandits as terrorists.
The defence minister maintained that until these processes are completed before such a declaration can be made by the force.