By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has called for synergy between the Armed Forces, other security agencies and the media as a way of achieving success in operations being carried out by the force.
General Buratai spoke at a workshops organised by the Directorate of Army Public Relations in partnership with the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information for officers of the Directorate, Commanding Officers, Defence Correspondents, and Online Publishers, saying the present fight against insurgents in the North East, including the war against militancy and banditry requires high degree of coordinated efforts among security agencies.
The Army Chief who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Major General Olu Irefin said that although there are challenges in the relationship of the military and other security agencies, but the challenges are surmountable as it is not peculiar to Nigeria alone.
He commended the Directorate and the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) for the workshop put together to address the problems of inter agency cooperation saying 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.
The Chief of Army Staff said: “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 successes.
“Though, there are challenges but this is not peculiar to our dear nation as such challenges are surmountable.’’
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.
He said: “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.”
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 the Army Spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa 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 could dampen the morale of troops on the battlefield.
Musa said that such could also have negative consequences to the nation, the citizens and her vital interest.
He said that the media had a professional and patriotic duty to self regulate itself and to assist by watching out for fake and source less news and hate speech.
Colonel Sagir Musa commended the media for their cooperation, understanding and coverage of the Nigerian Army Operations, Exercises and activities and solicited more support and cooperation especially in ongoing clearance operation in the North East and the various operations across the various zones of Nigeria.