Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The Nigerian Army hosted members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other media executives in Sokoto State for its Fourth Quarter 2023 Civil-Military engagement with a view to seeking robust collaboration and dissemination of timely and objective information in tackling the menace of banditry, terrorism and other security challenges bedeviling some parts of the country.
In his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, said that the military and other security agencies and all stakeholders rely on the media to disseminate its operational activities in combating terrorism in the country.
Lagbaja implored media on importance of objective, balance and fair reportage in covering activities of Nigerian Army.
The Chief of Army Staff, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding, 8 Division, Sokoto, Major General Godwin Mutkut, said that the media as an important component in the nation’s progress and development process play a very significant role in the society, having been involved in the Nigerian Army’s non-kinetic lines of operation towards ensuring a peaceful and secured Nigeria, as a nation.
Lagbaja said: “The media plays an essential role in objective reportage and perception management, and It is in recognition of this fact and the quest to achieve effective dissemination of Nigerian Army’s Operational achievements and Civil-Military Cooperation activities, that the Army Headquarters, Department of Civil Military Affairs organises quarterly Media Chats to acquaint the general public with the Civil-Military Cooperation activities conducted by the Nigerian Army.
“It is a well-known fact that modern military operations take place in complex environments characterised by challenges that work against the public well-being of the affected societies.
“I would, therefore, stress the importance of having the media involved in the Nigerian Army’s non-kinetic lines of operation towards ensuring a peaceful and secured Nigeria, as the media is an important component in a nation’s progress and development.
“The media chat would provide an avenue for the department to engage various media professionals with a view to charting new ways for a more mutually benefiting relationship between the Nigerian Army and the media, as well as improving media reportage for enhancement of the Nigerian Army Operations along the Non-Kinetic lines.”
He maintained that Nigerian Army would continue to discharge it constitutional responsibilities within joint operational environment, stressing that avenue would be created to effectively engage the media to enable them complement our efforts in the field.
He explained that the choice of Sokoto as a venue for this event was to enable media practitioners from the North-west geopolitical zone to actively take part in the event.
He urged the media from the zone to continue to support and positively represent the Nigerian Army through constructive reportage that would create favourable perception and sustain popular support to the army in the discharge of its constitutional mandates.
He assured the nation of unalloyed loyalty of the officers and soldiers of Nigerian Army to the President and Commander -in-Chief, Bola Tinubu.
He thanked the President for his continued strategic guidance and unwavering support to Nigerian Army.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of the Civil-Military Affairs Department at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, Major Gen Nosakhare Ugbo said the department was established as a child of necessity to enhance cooperation, advocacy, seminars, workshops, human rights sensitisation, which have drastically reduced mitigation of troops violation in their areas of engagement, as well as keeping the media abreast on the roles of Nigerian Army in the fight against insecurity.
“Media as a Force Multiplier in Nigerian Army Operations”. As an aspects of the Nigerian Army’s non-kinetic line of operation, the Military-Media relations is considered crucial and must be kept agile through frequent engagements.
He stated that Army would continue to seek mediums that would facilitate and provide adequate and accurate information to the media. These measures are aimed at ensuring that the media reportage on the activities of the Nigerian Army are based on verifiable facts and does not compromise operational and national security and consistent with global best practices.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of lectures by senior army officers and media executive heralding the roles of media, military/media relations in tackling insecurity in Nigeria.