The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja, on Wednesday, said the country needs a healthy military-media relationship towards winning the war against terrorism.
Lagbaja represented by the General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Ibadan, Major General Bamidele Alabi, made the declaration at the Nigerian Army (NA) Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) third quarter media chat held at the Tiger Officers’ Mess, Agodi, Ibadan.
Present at the event were Chief of Civil-Military Affairs (Army), Major General Nosakhare Ugbo, Major General Bamidele Omozoje (rtd), Major General Chris Olukolade (rtd), media managers and journalists drawn from all sections of the media.
Lagbaja while speaking on the theme, “Leveraging Media to Enhance Nigeria’s Internal Security Operations”, insisted that a healthy military-media relationship is important to create a positive perception that would sustain popular support to the Army’s counter terrorism operations and other operations being conducted to secure the country and protect innocent citizens.
The Chief of Army Staff, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, maintained that the media remains a key partner in the Army’s non-kinetic line of operation for the security of the country, stating that the media chat was part of the civil-military cooperation activities aimed at keeping the media informed, dispel rumours and provide accurate and timely information to the media as an important segment of nation building.
He noted that at a time like this, the Nigerian Army under his leadership has adopted a multi-dimensional approach requiring the collaboration of all especially the media in confronting challenges facing the country.
While re-assuring the country of the unalloyed loyalty of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the President and the Constitution, the Army boss appreciated the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their dedication in carrying out their duties in the service of the country.
According to him, “At a time like this, when the nation is inundated with a myriad of internal security challenges, the Nigerian Army under my leadership has adopted a multi-dimensional approach requiring the collaboration of all especially the media in confronting these challenges. Thus, a forum such as this media chat is important for a more detailed examination of issues that relate to the Nigerian Army, in order to provide context and other perspectives to the issues.
“Traditionally, the media keeps society informed of events as they occur including military operations. They interpret the military to society. The military on the other hand is concerned with the successful conduct of its missions which may require the maintenance of operational security required to win
“However, a good part of the interface between the media and the military involves the reportage of routine military activities and the conduct of military personnel in peace time. Nowadays, advances in information and communication technology and the rise of the new media has opened a new vista in media practice. It has blurred the line between professional media practitioners and amateurs who practise the trade without ethics or responsibility.
“The security environment in Nigeria has drastically evolved such that the Nigerian Army is deployed to combat terrorists, insurgents and other criminals in all part of the country. The successful conduct of these operations require the support and efforts of the people. Hence, the country requires a healthy Military-Media relationship to create a positive perception that would sustain popular support to the Army’s counter terrorism operations and other operations being conducted to secure the country and protect innocent citizens. The media remains a key partner in our non-kinetic line of operation for the security of the country.”
The Chief of Civil – Military Affairs, Major General Nosakhare Ugbo, in his address, said the media chat was organised as part of efforts to keep the media informed of its Civil-Military Cooperation and Civil-Military Relations activities in order to eliminate rumours and provide accurate and timely information in line with international best practices.
He said, “The gathering will further provide an opportunity for the Nigerian Army to engage with various communication experts for better understanding, and to chart a mutually beneficial relationship to improve media reportage. The Media Chat is also an aspect of the non-kinetic line of operations as the constitutional mandate.”
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan