Abuja: The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has called on civil society organizations and the media practitioners to collaborate with the Nigerian Army to bring to an end the various security challenges affecting the nation.
Buratai who made the call in Abuja at the Directorate of Army Public Relations Media Workshop and Combined Second/Third Quarters 2017 Study Period, reiterated Nigerian Army’s commitment to engage and degrade Boko Haram terrorists until they are completely wiped out.
Represented by the commander of Army Headquarters Garrison, Major General John Malu, Buratai lamented the misunderstanding and misconception by various human rights organisations and journalists accusing the Army of human rights violations, saying that things are expected to take a positive dimension for better understanding with the workshop.
“The Chief Of Army Staff is optimistic that the Workshop will help update the knowledge of the Army Public Relations Department in information management” he said.
He regarded the timeliness and significance of the Workshop as apt mostly as the Nigerian Military has been enmeshed in negative narratives.
The theme is “Enhancing Human Rights during Internal Security Operations through Effective Information Management”.
The workshop x-rayed the need for collaboration between the media and the Army for national security and concluded that both parties manage information in a way that protects Nigeria’s interest both locally and
In his Lecture titled: “Perspective on the Role of Communications in Conflict Management and Peace Building”, the Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Mukhtar Sarijo, called for a cross fertilization of ideas and information between the Military and the Media.
He said both the Media and the Nigerian Military have a common goal of protecting Nigeria’s interest, though through different forms.
The Media he insisted is a double edged sword, adding, “It is a veritable instrument of conflict resolution if well handled, otherwise can be a conflict
Also present to speak at the Workshop was the Director Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brigadier General Sani Usman.
He condemned repeated efforts to portray the Nigerian Army in a bad light irrespective of creditably and professionally discharging its duties during Internal Security Operations in aid of civil authorities in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
He charged Media outfits to appreciatively uphold the Military rather than resort to publication of unverified stories and outright posting of false allegations.
He said the media should balance its reportage of the activities of the military so as to avoid tension along the line of duties.
“The level of mistrust between the media and the military is bridged with a more robust relationship based on mutual trust” he added.