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.
The COAS, represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Olubunmi Irefin, made the call in Lagos on Monday at a media workshop tagged, “Inter-Agency Cooperation: Roles of Public Relations Officers’’.
Buratai noted that the war the nation was currently prosecuting against insurgency, terrorism, militancy and kidnapping required a high degree of coordinated efforts.
He said that the workshop, which started on Nov. 17 to end Nov. 22 at the 81 Division Officer’s Mess, was not only apt but timely.
The army chief said that it was through such 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 know 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.
“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 board.
“This can only be achieved through a workable strategy amongst all of us, especially in galvanising a narrative that is superior to that of the adversaries,’’ he said.
The army chief said that he would continue to support such commendable training initiatives, saying that he desired to consolidate on the achievements recorded by the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI).
“I am aware that NASPRI has trained over 356 officers and 2,472 soldiers in the Armed Forces.
“It is my desire to consolidate on the achievements recorded and uplift the capacity of the military information officers and soldiers to greater heights in the nearest future,’’ Buratai said.
Meanwhile, Col. Sagir Musa, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, 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 was apt, as there was increase in the dissemination of fake news, sourceless news, deliberate misinformation, which dampened the morale of troops on the battlefield.
Musa said that such had negative consequences to the nation, the citizens and vital interest.
He said that the media had a professional and patriotic duty to assist by watching out for fake and sourceless news and hate speech.
The workshop had in attendance personnel of the Directorate of Army Public Relations (DAPR), officers, commanding officers, other security agencies, defence correspondents and online publishers.