…Accuses Them Of Loitering Around Military Operations Zone
By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.
The defence authorities have curtailed the movement of two Al-Jazeera journalists working in the troubled northeast states of Nigeria, accusing them of loitering around areas where military operations are ongoing.
The journalists are Ahmed Idris and Mustafa Andy, who the troops said, were noted to have been moving around various locations including restricted areas in Yobe and Borno states, without any protection, accreditation or due clearance.
In a statement by Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, Wednesday in Abuja, the military said it had earlier cautioned the journalists against unauthorized and unprotected movements around the military operations area.
According to the statement, “Two journalists working for Al jazeera Television who were found to have been loitering around areas where military operations are ongoing in the North East have been restrained in Maiduguri.
“The journalists, Ahmed Idris and Mustafa Andy who were noted to have been moving around various locations including restricted areas in Yobe and Borno State were also operating without any protection , accreditation or due clearance,” it stated.
Adding that, “they were accordingly monitored by military intelligence operatives until they eventually had to be restrained to their hotel in Maiduguri. This followed the increasing suspicion that their activities were aimed at interfering with the ongoing military operations in the area.
“The motive , activities and some material in possession of these individuals are now being investigated.
“It will be recalled that Foreign journalists have earlier been cautioned against unauthorised and unprotected movements around the military operations area. This warning is hereby reiterated until formally reversed or lifted.
“Appropriate arrangements will however continue to be made to assist duly cleared journalists to cover activities in the mission area within the limits of adequate safety, security and necessary procedures,” it added.