New Defence Spokesman, Gusau, Seeks Media Support for 2023 Polls

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The new Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.Gen. Tukur Gusau, yesterday, assumed duties as the head of the Directorate of Defence Information (DDI) and called for the support of the media establishment for the armed forces as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections.

He  took over  from the erstwhile Director, Maj.Gen. Jimmy Akpor.

Akpor was moved to Army Headquarters as Director Personnel Services, Nigerian Army.

In his remarks, Gusau commended his predecessor for forging better relationship with the media which helped to positively project the operations of the armed forces.

He also thanked the media for the continuous support for the armed forces and called for stronger relationship between the military and the media on matters of national security.

“I urge you to provide the enabling environment for members of the armed forces of Nigeria to perform their constitutional roles without distractions.

“As the nation gradually approach the coming general elections starting from next month, I urge you to avoid reports capable of affecting the morale of our gallant troops and the credibility of our armed forces,” he said.

Gusau assured that the armed forces would assist media practitioners to discharge their duties where necessary.

He added that the military would also support other government agencies to achieve peaceful and credible elections across the country.

The director described the military and the media as partners in progress, saying the two should strive to promote the interest of the country at all times.

He solicited the support of the media in order to discharge his duties effectively.

“I urge you to offer me the same support, cooperation and understanding which you have rendered to Maj. Gen. Akpor as Director of Defence Information,” he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Akpor said the media and the military now have deep understanding of their responsibilities.

He said the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor had done so much in forging enduring relationship with the media.

Akpor said this was necessary because the media, like the military, had crucial role to play in creating peaceful and orderly environment for all citizens.

He commended the defence chief for holding two media parleys with editors and media chief executives where fruitful discussions led to better understanding of the responsibilities of each profession in furtherance of national security.

Akpor, who tagged his speech the “Truth About the Armed Forces of Nigeria”, said the Nigerian military had rich history of great exploits.

He cited the North-east where life was returning to normal due to the efforts of the military after over a decade of insurgency.

“Irrespective of the security challenges confronting the nation and the way they mutate, the armed forces will continue to build requisite capabilities through the support of the Federal Government.

“Whilst there were 48 piracy/armed robbery related incidents in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 2018, 35 in 2019, 35 in 2020 and six in 2021, there was none in 2022.

“This was not due to wishful thinking, but due to dogged efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and availability of the critical assets provided.

“The truth about the armed forces is therefore a professional one rooted in its desire to meet its constitutional imperatives,” he said.

Akpor, therefore, urged the media to extend the same support given him to his successor, for him to discharge his responsibilities effectively.

Beyond other positions he held, Gusau was a former military aide to former Minister of Defence, Brig Gen Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd).

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