The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Lucky Irabor, has said that the country will win the war against insurgency and other forms of insecurity with journalists and military cooperation.
He made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during a training conference on ‘Enhancing Journalists-Military Cooperation in Checking Insecurity’, organized by Zakclair Investment Limited (ZIL) in collaboration with Defence Headquarters.
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He noted that from time immemorial, journalists as watch dog of the society and purveyors of news have steadfastly executed the duties of informing, educating and enlightening the heterogeneous public on daily occurrences and activities happening around them and beyond.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Military Civil Relation, Rear Admiral A. O. Ayobanjo, Irabor said, “In like manner, Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended entrusted the Armed Forces of Nigeria with the onerous responsibility of defending the country from external aggression, maintaining the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as securing its borders from violation on land, sea or air.
“Invariably, it could be deduced that journalists work on the minds and soul of the populace. They use their medium and platforms to condition the minds of people as well as set agenda to enable people make informed decisions on day-to-day issues.
“The military on the other hand, is responsible of ensuring that the physical space is not threatened or violated by any injurious force or actions perpetuated by enemies of the state and criminals, which could lead to disruption of peace and orderliness in the society.”
Also, the chairman of the occasion, Major Gen. Chris Olukolade (Retd), said the relationship between the military and the media strengthen the nation security.
He said, “The Media and the Military are significantly inseparable. That’s why we should commend the people that have taken this initiative to check insecurity in the country. The military and the journalists must bridge the communication gab,” Olukolade said.
On his part, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, said that the importance of the journalists was much needed to address their responsibility in internal security management and low security conflicts.
He said, “National Security is non-negotiable. Since conflict is inevitable, citizens must come together and address it.”
Also speaking, a former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Salihu Kukasheka Usman (Retd), said the military and the media must build a consensus that will help in conflict environment.
He said journalists must have high sense of responsibility while the Nigeria military is expected to give information to the journalists when need be.
He said, “Journalists and military must understand they both serve the country and they must work for peace and allow development to thrive.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zakclair Investment Limited, Adelabu Abdulrazak, said bad mouthing the country and the military sometimes caused hostilities to men in arms against journalists and could affect the spirit of patriotism and support for fatherland among the populace.
He called for effective collaboration between the nation’s media and the military to bridge the gap and enhance national security.