The Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Friday denied reports that the military seized newspapers critical of its activities.
In a statement, the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that troops embarked on thorough search of vehicles conveying newspapers and newsprints across board, following an intelligence report.
The statement said the intelligence report indicated the movement of materials with grave security implications across the country, using the channel of newsprint related consignments.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to clarify that the exercise has nothing to do with content or operation of the media organisations or their personnel as is being wrongly imputed by a section of the press.
“The military appreciates and indeed respects the role of the media as an indispensable partner in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation and the overall advancement of our country’s democratic credentials.
“The military will not deliberately and without cause infringe on the freedom of the press,’’ the statement said.
It, however, assured the public and the affected media organisations that the exercise was a routine security action and should not be misconstrued for any other motive.