News

June 21, 2024

Military, media collaboration shouldn’t be limited to reporting of terrorism — COAS

Army Chief Lagbaja orders investigation over viral video of overcrowded soldiers’ cells, poor feeding

Lagbaja

By Bashir Bello, Kano

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has told media practitioners that collaboration between it and the military should not be limited to reporting of conflicts, terrorism and others.

This was as he said the collaboration should go beyond reportage to engagements on areas of national development, peacebuilding and community engagement.

The Chief of Army Staff stated this during the occasion of the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Quarterly Media Chat for Second Quarter 2024 held in Kano.

Lt. Gen. Lagbaja represented by the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Mayirensa Saraso however called on the media practitioners to uphold high standards of professionalism, accuracy, impartiality and patriotism in their reportage to ensure that national interest and security are not jeopardized.

The Army Chief described the theme of the event; “Synergizing Civil-Military Cooperation for National Security: Focus on Nigerian Army-Media Relations” as quite apt and appropriate, given the key role the media and the Nigerian Army play in the pursuit of Nigeria national security imperatives.

According to him, “While we acknowledge the importance of freedom of the press, it is crucial to strike a balance between national security interests and the public’s right to information. We must avoid disseminating fake news or inflammatory contents that could undermine national unity and security.

“I want to reiterate Nigerian Army’s commitment to improving media access to our operations within the bounds of operational security. We understand the need for accurate reporting on our activities, as it aids in building trust between the Nigerian Army and the civil population.

“This underscores the significance of a consistent and transparent communication strategy implemented by the Nigerian Army. Let me also emphasize the cruciality of acknowledging and embracing our respective roles and responsibilities within this partnership.

“As the Nigerian Army diligently fulfils its constitutional mandates, it is equally imperative for the media to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, accuracy, impartiality, and patriotism.

“By doing so, media practitioners can ensure that their reports contribute positively to national security objectives. In essence, this Media Chat signifies our unwavering dedication to transparent and effective communication between the Nigerian Army and the media practitioners.

“Together, we can enhance public understanding, build trust, and promote the greater welfare of our beloved nation. Please note that collaboration between the military and the media should not be limited to the reporting of conflicts, terrorism, or security threats alone.

“We must extend our engagements to areas of national development, peacebuilding, and community engagement. Joint efforts in highlighting projects and initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of our citizens will contribute to fostering a positive image of the Nigerian Army and its commitment to nation-building.

“As the Nigerian Army continue to conduct kinetic and non- kinetic operations geared towards complete elimination of elements and purveyors of insecurity in our beloved country, I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to keep faith with their army and continue to support our activities.

“I also solicit the cooperation and understanding of the media to be committed to the ideals of responsible and professional practices by being balanced and objective in their reporting of security matters.

“Balanced and objective reporting requires a deliberate effort to ensuring that national interest and security are not jeopardized on the basis of press freedom and the urgency to be the first to break the news.

“Therefore, media executives and editors should be circumspect when issues of national security and survival are concerned. I therefore urge you to be committed partners with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies as we collectively unite to combat insecurity in our country so as to restore peace, stability and progressive development for this generation and indeed future generations.

“I dare say that our shared commitment and coordinated actions towards defeating the enemies of our beloved country would effectively extinguish them and restore peace, tranquility, and prosperity to our great nation. On this note, I would like to reaffirm the Nigerian Army’s commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the media.

“Our success in securing our nation’s territorial integrity and socio- economic development depends on our collective efforts. Let us continue to synergize our civil-military cooperation, promoting national security while upholding the principles of democracy, human rights, and freedom of the press,” Lagbaja stated.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj. Gen. Nosakhare Ugbo said the Nigerian Army Quarterly Civil-Military Cooperation Media Chat serves as a platform to synergize efforts, improve communication and foster a strong and collaborative relationship between the Nigerian Army and the media for national security.

“The Nigerian Army is committed to not only safeguarding our nation but also fostering relationships that promote understanding and unity among our people.

“Through this Media Chat, we aim to deepen our engagement with the media, enhance public awareness, and cultivate a culture of trust and cooperation that is vital for our collective security and prosperity.

“As we delve into the discussions outlined for today’s programme, let us reflect on the power of collaboration, the impact of accurate and responsible reporting, and the role each of us play in shaping the narrative of our nation’s security landscape.

“Together, we can forge a path towards a safer, more informed, and resilient society,” the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj. Gen. Nosakhare Ugbo however stated.