Niger Delta

Delta commissioner advocates robust military-media partnership

Delta Commissioner for Information, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, says a robust military-media partnership will be of great benefit to the nation by promoting peace and security through accurate reportage.

The commissioner stated this at the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Media Chat, First Quarter 2024, organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Civil-Military Affairs in Asaba on Wednesday.

Osuoza noted that both the military and the media have specialised roles to play as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

According to him, one of the roles of the media is to hold the military accountable to the people.

He lauded the Nigerian Army (NA) for sponsoring and promoting the partnership to inform the general public of its activities and to promote a cordial relationship between it and the citizenry.

“The leadership of the Nigerian Army understands the crucial importance of establishing and nurturing positive relationships with the civil population toward building and achieving the all-important civil-military understanding.

” No doubt, such a relationship will help a great deal to expose to the people the important role of the military as a strategic professional group whose function is well defined.

“The military is to engender and support the growth of societal peace as well as secure defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria against external aggression.

“The chat initiative is, therefore, an important public relations tool for nurturing positive relationships between the military and the civilian populace,” Osuoza said.

He said that with the partnership sustained, it had the potential of letting the military high command understand the mind of the people whose existence they were to protect.

“It is obvious that never has the military been tasked so much in Nigeria than now.

“So much so that the challenges are enormous, requiring military interventions to help ward off and put an end to the growing menace of militancy, terrorism, and kidnapping groups that have laid siege on nearly all parts of the country.

“This is why I, again, commend the army for considering it worthwhile to partner with the media,” the commissioner said.

He noted that the media remained powerful beyond contention to the extent that it had continued to play the role of an information activist for an informed and responsible public.

“This is why the media deserves to be studied in a more profound and sustained sense by promoters, actors, and facilitators of democracy and good governance.

“This is crucial because of the unique function of the media in providing information to the public and confirming actions of the government on issues of national security.

“As it is well known, the role of the media is to provide the people with information which makes them grasp and understand security matters.

“The media can be used as a tool to rightly inform and replace misinformation that hampers Nigeria’s relations with its neighbouring countries and help to douse tension.

“The fact remains that Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended granted the media the power to hold the military as an agency of the Federal Government accountable,” he said.

He said that establishing the all-important relationship with the media would provide the military the opportunity to clarify grey areas, thereby carrying the people along with the mission of the military.

“The media, through the journalists, is always seeking information about things, and when it is about military matters, it becomes crucially incumbent on it to provide such information,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Nosakhare Ugbo, said the media chat was designed to foster mutual understanding by disseminating military activities to the public.

“Aside the quarterly media chat, it may interest you to know that the Nigerian Army also organises social media seminars, human rights seminars, and sensitisation lectures among others,” he said.

While appreciating the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, for his support, he urged the stakeholders to leverage the opportunity to ensure actionable solutions.

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