Defense Hq seeks media support to tackle insecurity
By Cyril Mbah, FCT, Abuja
The newly appointed Director of Defense Information, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr has appealed to media organizations to help in positively projecting the image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), using its prowess to change the negative public perception of the security forces in the country.
Major General Sawyerr said the assistance of the media is necessary for Nigerians to appreciate the selfless sacrifices of men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) in promoting peace and unity of the nation.
The DDI made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Abuja.
He noted that the media has proved to be a very powerful instrument which coordinates all elements of national power to bring about development, urging the media to continue to support and co-operate with the military with positive coverage and reporting of security activities to help move the country on the path of peace and progress.
Maj. Gen. Sawyerr expressed appreciation for the great work the media has been doing adding, “Whenever the media is against a State, the end result is that the State will fail.”
The concerted efforts of the AFN, the Information Director noted, has impacted on the mass surrender of Boko Haram terrorists who in recent times are coming out in their numbers with their weapons and families.”
He also called on Nigerians to support the initiative that has taken years to build, occasioned by the successes being witnessed in recent days.
The Defense Spokesman said the purpose of the visit was to familiarize himself with stakeholders in the media industry and added that the visit would enable him build cordial working relationship through formal interaction with media executives.
In his words, “we must cultivate the media, we must parley with them, we must see where our areas of difference converge so that we can be able to move the country forward.”
He equally used the opportunity to solicit for capacity building in the area of broadcast training for personnel of Armed Forces of Nigeria Radio Station, (AFNRS).
Responding, the Director General, FRCN, Dr Mansur Liman expressed readiness to continue to support and promote the operational engagement and activities of AFN in order to avail Nigerians the opportunity to better understand and appreciate what the security services are doing in the defense of the nation, most especially in the North East and other areas with security challenges.
He also promised to continue to provide manpower to the AFNRS and as well provide capacity building in area of broadcast training for personnel at the radio station.
In his remarks, the DG VON, Osita Okechukwu enjoined the citizens to give the military full support and co-operation to enable them restore peace and security in the country.
He further assured the DDI that VON would use the station’s wide coverage to project the image of the military both at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, during the visit of the DDI to Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Secretariat, the President and Chairman of the Council, Malam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo assured the AFN of the Institute’s readiness to partner and support the AFN in discharging its constitutional duties to the citizens and the nation at large.