Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned that any Army, Navy and Air Force personnel caught divulging sensitive information to social media platforms would be demoted and dismissed from the services of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
This was contained in a new guideline for military personnel and their family, on the use of social media to tackle cybersecurity crimes.
The order, contained in a new military policy prescribed by the DHQ, and signed into law, last Monday, by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, prescribed dismissal from service, reduction in rank among other stiffer penalties for offenders.
Under the new arrangement, the Defence Space Administration have been mandated to monitor the calls and usage of social media by military personnel.
With the new law, mobile telephones of military personnel and that of their family will now be monitored by the authorities, to know what they are posting on social media platforms.
The decision, it was gathered came as a result of incessant attacks on troops’ movement during operations, which were allegedly linked to leakage of information by some personnel to Boko Haram terrorists.
The decision, Daily Sun gathered, became necessary to reduce incessant attacks on troops’ movements in the ongoing counterinsurgency war in the North East. It was gathered that some personnel in the military are in the habit of divulging sensitive military security operations to Boko Haram terrorists; who have often times laid ambush for troops.
The new law, entitled ‘Policy on the use of social media for the Armed Forces of Nigeria,’ stipulates the immediate establishment of a Social Media Directorate in the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Navy and the Nigerian Air Force; to monitor the social media and tell the armed forces’ story in real time.
It was also gathered that the law gives guidelines for use of social media by military personnel, including the extent to which members of their families are allowed to use social media and spelt out the no-go areas on the use of the social media by military personnel which must be strictly adhered to and stipulates actions on social media that are regarded as offences and punishment to be meted out on offenders.
Leakages on counterinsurgency plans, which the DHQ said has led to ambush of troops by terrorists and other criminal groups has reportedly led to the untimely and sudden death of troops.
To curb the menace, authorities of the army, navy and air force have held several workshops and seminars on “Office Management and Document Security,” for their personnel.