NASPRI: Army Chief Calls On Media to Propagate Message of Peace to Foster National Unity and Cohesion

... Declares NASPRI 2023 Media Workshop Open

The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja has called on Nigerian media practitioners to consider it a responsibility to assist in propagating the message of peace by ensuring that turn out objective and factual stories that will foster national unity and cohesion. 

Lt General Lagbaja gave this assertion today, 5th December, 2023 while declaring open the 2023 Media Workshop organised by the Directorate of Army Public Relations and Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information with the theme "Harnessing the Potentials of Media for Effective Military Operations within a Joint Environment". 

The workshop is organized for Officers of the Army Public Relations, Commanding Officers, Defence Correspondents, media stake holders and other Online Publishers. 

The COAS who was ably represented by the Commander, Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command, Major General Adeleke Ayannuga stressed that the war in the 21st century though fought in the q but are won or lost in the cyber space. 

The Army Chief stressed the significance of synergy with the media, noting that the continuous and seamless collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the media must be maintained at all times

"The media shapes not only the narratives but influences and garners public support which is vital for a successful military operation. To this end, the continous and seamless collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the media must be maintained at all times. 

The Report

"Consequently, this important gathering is to remind us that the Nigerian Army in particular and the Armed Forces in general relies on the support of the media to perform their statutory roles as enshrined in the constitution."

The COAS emphasized that this forum will create an avenue for elaborate discussions, cross fertilization of ideas, clarifications and appreciable synergy among the participants and stakeholders. The workshop is also capable of generating new ideas that would uphold the narrative which will continue to garner public support for the armed forces in an effort geared towards improving national security. I have no doubt that with the caliber of resource persons we have here, the workshop will definitely achieve its set objectives.

He urged participants to apply the knowledge and ideas gathered here towards ensuring that all forms of criminal activities that constitute a threat to national cohesion are stamped out, not only through tactical means, but with effective information sharing and reportage across board. It is only through effective collaboration and partnership in all spheres of national security that the noble course of proffering workable strategy and enhanced mutual support amongst relevant stakeholders can be achieved.

The Army Chief out of his passion for Public Relations, decided to build a befitting School for NASPRI being the factory that produce the manpower capacity for the image makers of Nigerian Army. He pledged to continue to develop the School to attain the standard like other global reputable Public Relations Instit)utions. I must commend the Directorate of Army Public Relations and NASPRI for organizing this very important media workshop at a time like this.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the acting Commandant,  Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information  NASPRI,  Lt Col Ngulde said the theme was selected in consonance with the Chief of Army Staff's command philosophy which is "To Transform the NA into a Well- trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving Constitutional Responsibility within a Joint Environment. "It is high time we realize that in modern warfare, the media plays a pivotal role for any successful military operations.

"The urgent need to eliminate and avoid media antipathy cannot be over emphasized as its implications pose greater threats on national security. This is necessary because the security challenges confronting our dear nation require a robust synergy between the security agencies and the media while playing their various roles in maintaining national security."

"The consequences of discordant relationship between security agencies and the media can culminate into increased public apathy or diminished public trust in the abilities of security agencies to perform their constitutional roles.

"The engagement of the military in internal security operations has exposed them to operational challenges arising from day to day process in carrying out their duty. Thus the need to woo public support through winning the hearts and minds of the populace for the success of these operations becomes inevitable. In order toachieve this, the media is the perfect tool that cannot be replaced."he said

The Acting Commandant, noted that, collaboration between the military, security agencies and media should be nurtured and maintained at all times in order to meet every operational objective. The need for constant interaction between the military and the media becomes necessary through a veritable platform. 

He said such platform is what this media workshop has created and it is my candid belief that the topics carefully selected for discuss will do justice to issues bothering effect of media reportage on national security and the implication of fake news during military operations.

Delivering the first paper titled “Contemporary Security Challenges: Changing the Narrative Through the Use of New Media & Multimedia Tools in a Joint Environment, the Former Director of Defence Media Information, Major General Chris Kolade (Rtd), said there must be a balance and synergy between the military and Information disseminators.

Another speaker,the former Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka (Rtd) in lecture titled “The Role and Importance of Crisis Communication During Internal Security Operations in Nigeria” pointed out that the biggest test of an organisation’s image and reputation is how it handles a crisis when it occurs.

He stressed that “in the digital age, where information spreads like wildfire, the impact of a poorly handled crisis can be detrimental to the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army and its internal security operations”

SpyeTV News reports that this year's edition is focused on harnessing the potentials of the media as a force multiplier for effective military operations. "The workshop will address most of the challenges you might likely face in the field and will equally cater for envisaged future issues. It is my belief that you will find this workshop very useful as you engage in future endeavours"

The workshop is expected to end on 8th,  December 2023

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