The Nigerian Army on Monday engaged about 300 social media bloggers and online journalists in Sokoto toward enhancing proper understanding and fostering civic relationship in the fight against insecurity.
The event was tagged ” Civil Military Relations: The Evolving Role of the Social Media in Support of the Nigerian Army’s -Non-Kinetic line of Operations”
NAN also reports that participants were drawn from 23 Sokoto LGAs and the nearby states.
Speaking at the interactive session, Maj. Gen. Usman Muhammad, the Chief of Military Civic Affairs in the Army Headquarters underscored the importance of civic partnerships especially in the use of modern information tools.
He said that the event started in 2018 at Port Harcourt as a way of engaging the civil populace to foster a harmonious and cordial Civil-Military Relationship.
”It is continuous events that will enable the Nigerian Army receive feedbacks on how to serve the Nigerian populace better.
”No doubt this forum will again provide us the necessary and needed opportunity to freely interact, discuss, share ideas and rub minds particularly towards the eradication of fake news syndrome,” he said.
Muhammad said the exercise was also part of the army’s non-kinetic line of operations noting that social media had a crucial role to play in supporting the effort.
He explained that the army was aware of the power of the cyberspace as modern wars were fought using the cyberspace.
”Social media is acting as very dangerous weapons which has the capability of influencing and shaping the opinions of people thereby having a critical outcome in the battle being fought.
”There is so much that the social media can do in supporting the Nigerian Army’s operations across the country comprising fight against insurgency and others,” he said
Muhammad explained that the event is also expected to provide an avenue to enlighten on various developments in the army because a lot had been done.
”Since the inception of the Department of Civil Military Affairs in 2010, it has assisted in bridging the perceived gap of divide with the civil populace and in winning the hearts and minds of the populace that most of you seated here are not aware of.
”As a respected organization, the Nigerian Army believes in touching the lives of the average citizens for the better in addition to its constitutional roles and as part of the army’s cooperate social responsibilities,” he added.
The military chief noted that the community outreaches through Quick Impact Projects were conducted by the Nigerian Army in the last five years.
”No fewer than 100 civil military related projects have been executed, all aimed at bridging the gap with the civil populace and ensuring the Nigerian Army is seen in a positive light,” he said.
The major general further stated that the Nigerian Army was making giant strides and having the upper hand in dealing with terrorists and insurgents.
”However, such efforts were always under reported as military celebrated the place of making headlines that will scare people rather than headlines to celebrate the gallantry efforts of our troops thereby giving confidence to the insurgents.
”I want to believe that all these will change from today as you begin to see the efforts of the Nigerian Army and the many successes it has recorded in the fight against terrorism and insurgency and ensuring there is peace, security and stability in the nation.
He called on participants to be better informed about the Nigerian Army and to also imbibe the spirit of patriotism towards the realization of a “prosperous Nigeria of our dream’’.
The Special Adviser to Gov Aminu Tambuwal on Special Projects, Alhaji Dahiru Yabo, described the theme as `apt’.
Yabo said social media users had great impact in shaping public attitudes.
”It is very obvious that what you say, the way you say it and how its spreads have far reaching implications than most of originators,” Yabo said.
A cross section of participants assured active involvement in the social network platform that would be created after the event as well as share useful information to fighting insecurity.
NAN reports that presentations were made by some army officers while the event witnessed questions and answers as well suggestions on security activators. (NAN)