Media must mobilise for national security, says Defence chief - EazyFeeds

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Sunday 31 July 2016

Media must mobilise for national security, says Defence chief

Against the backdrop of incessant violent agitations and criminal activities across the country, media practitioners have been reminded of their roles as mobilisers of citizens and stabilisers of the polity.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, stated this at a one-day seminar on “Constructive Reportage as an important ingredient for National Security and Integration” for Defence Correspondents at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

The CDS who identified the nexus between media reportage and national security, called on Defence Correspondents to be responsible in the reportage of sensitive security issues.

He said “I recognize the enormous power that the media practitioners wield with the proverbial mighty pen, which can be used as mobiliser in shaping public support or become an instrument for orchestrating public mistrust against the security forces”.

He called on participants to renew their vow to their sacred roles in the society and re-examine the inevitability of responsible Journalism for effective and mutually beneficial military-media relationship.

“As professionals, you are expected to have a clear understanding of the challenges confronting our country, which range from pastoral/farmers’ clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping, militancy, vandalism of critical National infrastructure (CNI) particularly oil facilities, ethnic nationalism, terrorism and insurgency.”

He said that though the Boko Haram terrorists have been degraded, the security situation still remains fluid and called for patriotism and on the part of citizenry particularly, the media in order to stamp out terrorism in the country.

While declaring the seminar open, the Guest of Honour and Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed called on the military and the media to synergize in the onerous task of nation building.

The Minister who spoke through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, maintained that capacity building programmes like this would help enrich the understanding of defence correspondents and other stakeholders in the management of defence and security information.

"It is my hope that more of these programmes will be organized not only to broaden the knowledge and capacity of our media practitioners but to explore opportunities for more collaboration and synergy between the media and the security agencies", the minister pointed out.

The lead presenter, Commodore Olutunde Oladimeji (Rtd) who spoke on the topic: ‘Reportage of military Operations: Implications on National Security', tasked military and reporters to see themselves as partners in progress, as they confront the stark reality of dwindling security situation in the country.

A 13-point communiqué issued at the end of the seminar harped on responsible journalism and the need for military information managers to engage Defence Correspondents in official and unofficial communication channels in order to agree on no-go-areas.

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