Army Chief seeks partnership with media to combat insecurity

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen.Taoreed Lagbaja, has urged media professionals to partner with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to combat insecurity in the country.

Lagbaja made the call in a keynote address he delivered at the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Media Chat held in Kano on Thursday.

Lagbaja described the theme of the event:  “Synergizing Civil-Military Cooperation for National Security: Focus on Nigerian Army-Media Relations” as apt in view of the current security situation in Nigeria.

The army chief said that, Civil-Military Cooperation was a vital component in achieving national security objectives.

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He said that the Army would strive to build stronger relationships with the media, recognizing the critical role the media plays in shaping public opinion, informing the people, and fostering transparency in governance.

“The Nigerian Army is fully committed to the protection of law-abiding citizens and their civil liberties.

“We understand that a robust partnership with the media is paramount in achieving this objective.

“The media serves as the bridge that connects the military to the citizens, ensuring accountability, and maintaining a healthy relationship based on mutual trust and understanding,” he said.

Lagbaja explained that over the years, the Nigerian Army has made significant progress in enhancing its communication and engagement with the media

Accordong to him, the Army  has worked hard to remove most of the encumbrances to peace in the country and enhance civil-military relations.

The army chief, however, acknowledged that there was still work to be done and challenges to address.

“We must establish regular channels of communication, enabling transparent and accurate reporting of military operations and activities, timely dissemination of information for engendering public confidence and countering misinformation.

“In view of this, I urge you to exercise responsibility, accuracy, and fairness in reporting on Nigerian Army’s matters.

“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,” he said.

Lagbaja further urged the media to avoid disseminating fake news or inflammatory contents that could undermine national unity and security.

He also reiterated Nigerian Army’s commitment to improving media access to operations within the bounds of operational security.

The COAS added that the Media Chat signifies unwavering dedication to transparent and effective communication between the Nigerian Army and the media practitioners.

He then re- assured the nation of the unalloyed loyalty of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Lagbaja also appreciate the President for his continuous strategic guidance and unwavering support to the Nigerian Army.

Earlier, the Chief of Civil -Military Affairs, Maj. Gen. Nosakhare Ugbo, said that the media chart serve as platform to synergize efforts, improve communication and foster a strong and collaborative relationship between the Nigerian Army and the media for national security.

According to him, the Nigerian Army’s collaboration with the media is one of the numerous platforms used to enhance Civil-Military cooperation as well was Civil-Military relationship.

Ugbo reiterated Nigerian Army’s commitment to not only safeguarding the nation, but also fostering relationships that promote understanding and unity among the people.

In her remark, the special guest of honor, the Group Managing Director of TVC, Victoria Ajayi, said that the Nigerian Army stood as a fortification of national defence, tasked with ensuring the safety and security of people in the face of multifaceted security challenges.

Ajayi lauded the Nigerian Army for it’s efforts to engage with the media, fostering productive interactions that enhance transparency and promote a shared understanding of collective security challenges.(NAN)

By Muhammad Nur Tijani

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