By Joseph Erunke
A group, Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness, CISA,has called on Nigerians to focus on the positive sides of Nigerian Military operations.
The group which said this at a press conference,Monday,in Abuja,said its appeal on this was based on its belief that there was the need for citizens to protect their national security.
National Coordinator of CISA, Chidi Omeje, reading a prepared text at the event,insisted that it was time for the citizens to begin to look at what he called the “sunny side” of the military operations in the country.
” The sunny sides we are talking about are the various positives coming out of the sustained efforts of our fighting forces who are engaged in various theatres of operation across the country,” he explained.
According to him,”Nigerians are right to demand a quick end to the menace of terrorism and banditry in any part of our country.”
” They are right to hold the government to account on how the various internal security operations are being prosecuted by our fighting forces.
“However, they must assess or evaluate those efforts with open mind and with the full understanding of the dynamics of security challenges assailing the country and the nature of combat operations waged against them.
” This is against the background of the fact that it has become customary for some vocal Nigerian commentators and a section of the media to analyze the various military operations from the standpoint and mindset of bias and reprehension,”he added.
The text read further:”As a civil society group interested in the general security and welfare of Nigerians, CISA believes that critics of military operations should show balance in their analysis and commentaries.
“We urge such Nigerians who are only interested in projecting and parroting setbacks and challenges encountered by our military to also join us in supporting and celebrating the various wins being recorded almost on daily basis by the troops against our adversaries, even in the face of many challenges.
“We are gladdened by the realization that in spite of certain orchestrated negative reviews of our military by some detractors, most fair-minded Nigerians who are watching and assessing the trajectory of the security challenges across the country and the efforts of those combating them are confident that soon, the challenges will be surmounted.
“CISA is strongly of the opinion that Nigerians especially media commentators must show balance in their coverage, reportage or analysis of our military’s operations nationwide in order to inspire hope and confidence on the people and boost the moral and fighting spirit of our gallant troops.
“We urge that on no account must politics or any parochial consideration compel citizens to thumb down the sacrifice and commitment of our troops.
current positives we noted in the fight against terrorism and other forms of violent crimes in our country by the armed forces.”
The group said it noted resilience and resoluteness of the Nigerian troops in its ongoing operations.
“CISA is happy to note that our fighting forces have remained resilient, committed and confident in prosecuting the various internal security operations across the country. Our troops have consistently shown that they are more than capable of defending our country from external aggression or internal insurrection.
“This is in spite of the numerous challenges ranging from internal and external sabotage, lack of information, poor funding, inadequate boots on the ground, media trial by rent seeking politicians and sundry distractions,” it said.
CISA also said it was impressed with what it called excellent synergy between ground and troops.
“CISA has noted with satisfaction, the current efficient synergy between the troops on the ground and air component of the various theaters of operation. The current momentum has ensured robust engagement of the adversary and obliteration of their sanctuaries.
“The Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force coordination delivers massive assault on Boko Haram/ISAWP terrorists operating in the north east and bandits in northwest and north central parts of the country. Time was when media reports were rife that lack of effective coordination between ground and air forces were the major cause of some setbacks in the counter insurgency operations,” it said.
According to the organisation, there was a “seamless flow of information to Nigerians on military operations.”
“The establishment of the Directorate of Defence Media Operation (DDMO) by the Defence Headquarters has revolutionized the information management and dissemination of Nigerian military operations.
“Described as best global practice in the management of defence information especially in times of counter insurgency operations, the DMO idea which is all about domiciling the entire armed forces combat operations information in one directorate, has not only ensured that harmonized information are released to the public via the media, it has also reduced to the barest minimum, incidences of speaking at cross purposes by the various services. ”
CISA said from its assessment,”Positive results are emerging.
“CISA has noted that on account of sustained vigor, commitment and resilience by our gallant troops, desired results have been turning in from various theatres of operation.
“We are happy to also observe that farming, social and economic activities are once again flourishing in many parts of the north where the activities of terrorists, bandits and other criminals once made impossible.”
“CISA is soliciting the cooperation of citizens in the area of providing credible information that will assist our security forces in combating insecurity in our communities,” it further said.