Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army authorities, on Wednesday, said it would deal decisively with any officer and soldier found spewing official secrets on the social media.
It has also cautioned aggrieved personnel to follow lay-down procedures to seek redress rather than resort to social media.
The Army said the use of social media by aggrieved personnel to ventilate grievances, oftentimes, hindered operational strategies which could be injurious to the country’s national security.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, gave the warning at the opening of the Nigerian Army Office Management and Document Security workshop for officers, in Abuja.
Gen. Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, Maj.-Gen. Rasheed Yusuf noted that resorting to the social media is prohibited by the military. He maintained that the Army authorities has established a directorate to focus solely on the management of the social media in the Army.
The COAS said, “The social media has brought out additional challenges to information security which are being used by misguided personnel contrary to our service rules.
“The Nigerian Army has an extant policy on the use of social media which prohibits among others, the use of social media to discuss or disclose service matters.
“It is indeed unfortunate and unprofessional for service personnel to resort to social media to disclose classified information or express grievances when the Army has well established channels for addressing complain”.
He explained that the workshop is aimed at equipping officers on the importance of securing service documents, in a manner that will not jeopardise any operations and administration.
“The ultimate objective of the forum is to build your capacity to effectively support my vision which is to have a professional responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional role”.
He, therefore, called on the participants to take the workshop seriously, saying “some service documents are highly classified to the extent that their disclosure could be injurious to our national security and so officers need to be updated on how to preserve the sanctity of service documents and the threats in these areas.
Earlier in his address, the Chief of Administration, Army, Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali, said security of documents is one of the cardinal requirement for effective operations and administration in the military, especially at this time when the Nigerian Army is engaged in numerous operations within the country.
Gen. Alkali, who said it was unprofessional for any officer or soldier to disclose official information without authorisation, pointed out that the workshop was organized for officers involved in the generating, drafting and releasing of documents that could jeopardize document security.