National Security: Military seeks Cordial Civil, Military Ties

BY ODILI CHRISTEL

The spokesperson of the Defense Headquarters, General Enenche has said that in a developing nation like Nigeria, which is engulfed

by a dynamic flux of security challenges, the media is required to build bridges of understanding between the military and the people in the discharge of its national security mandate.

General Enenche disclosed this in Abuja, during the One-Day Defense Correspondents’ Seminar titled: "Professional Information Management a Panacea for Improved National Security".

He said that the media and military were two of the most important stakeholders in projecting, promoting and protecting national security.

According to him, it is incumbent on all the stakeholders in the national security and allied sectors to assist defence media practitioners to build human and institutional capacity to facilitate effective performance and goal attainment, especially on issues that affect national security of Nigeria.

“It is important from the onset to state that although, we play different roles and may see things from different perspectives, we all must be responsive as stakeholders in the overriding task of nation building,” he said.

He emphasised that as professionals, the two parties are expected to have a clear understanding of the challenges confronting the country, which include pastoralist/farmers’ clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping, militancy, vandalism of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) particularly oil facilities, ethnic nationalism, terrorism and insurgency.

According to him, “The regular dialogue between the press and the armed forces of Nigeria should be sustained. The press should endeavour to clear grey points from the appropriate Defence Information source before publishing".

“Defence information sources should make themselves readily and easily accessible to Defence Correspondents”.

While commending journalist for the existing relationship and the roles played in curbing cyber crime and other vices, Enenche noted that Nigeria's Cyber security systems has improved tremendously in line with the realities of time.

He said: "We are doing a lot in cyber security. This has gone beyond holding seminars. We have trained people that are very knowledgeable in that aspect.He said that Nigerian defence, intelligence and security agencies are doing a lot behind the scene in the area of cyber security, which he said would be unveiled soon".

Earlier , the Chief of Defence staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, assured that the DHQ will leverage on the existing cordial relationship between the media and the military, "having in mind the critical role media plays on military operations".

Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin who was represented by the Chief of Civil-Military Relations, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, urged Defence Correspondents to exercise caution while reporting on issues that have serious security implications.

According to him, "It is worthy of note that due to our continuous drive to maintain an open door policy, media organisations have always been granted permission and provided armed escorts to our theatres of operation. Likewise, some Non-Governmental organisations and Civil Society Organisations were facilitated to perform their duties at different locations of the mission areas nationwide".

“That Defence correspondents should report all military operations with a sense of responsibility and patriotism to promote national security; and the military should devise strategy to honour officers and men who paid the supreme price in defence of the fatherland”, he said.

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