From EVELYN DADU, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, has called for effective synergy between the military, other security agencies, and the media in ensuring a peaceful environment.
Buratai noted that the ongoing war in Nigeria against insurgency, terrorism, militancy, and kidnapping requires a high degree of coordinated efforts, hence the importance of this synergy.
The COAS, represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Olubunmi Irefin made the call in Lagos recently at a media workshop tagged, “Inter-Agency Cooperation: Roles of Public Relations Officers’’.
While describing the timing of the workshop as apt and timely, the army chief said that it was through such a forum that respective roles of security agencies could be holistically dissected to complement the understanding of their constitutional roles in safeguarding lives and property of citizens.
“It is pertinent to note that through effective synergy amongst the military and other security agencies, including the media, we have effectively and commendably prosecuted many joint operations with huge success in the past”. Adding, “Though there are challenges but this is not peculiar to our dear nation as such challenges are surmountable.’’ he said.
Buratai urged participants to make use of the knowledge and ideas gathered at the workshop to ensure that all forms of criminality were stamped out. “I urge participants to make effective use of knowledge and ideas gathered from this conference in ensuring that all forms of criminal activities that constitute a threat to our national cohesion are stamped out”.
“This will not only be through tactical means but with effective information maneuvering across the board. “This can only be achieved through a workable strategy amongst all of us, especially in galvanizing a narrative that is superior to that of the adversaries,’’ he said.
The army chief who pledged his unflinching support for the training initiatives also vowed to consolidate on the achievements recorded by the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI).
Meanwhile, Acting Director, Army Public Relations Col. Sagir Musa, thanked the COAS for giving the approval to conduct the workshop as well as providing the necessary financial and moral support.
He said that the workshop has helped in no small measure to decrease in the dissemination of fake news, source less news, deliberate misinformation, which dampened the morale of troops on the battlefield, adding that such had negative consequences to the citizens and the nation at large.
The Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) in the past has trained over 356 officers and 2,472 soldiers in the Armed Forces.