Nigerian Army Make Shocking Revelations As CMR Seminar Ends.
By Tanimu A. Tahir & Collins C. Mbakwe (Maiduguri)
The Second Edition of the Civil Military Relations(CMR) seminar held recently in Maiduguri has successfully ended. The seminar which has its theme as, “The role of the social media in civil military relations as a non-kinetic tool for enhanced peace and stability in Nigeria,” was attended by accredited journalists, active social media influencers and senior military officers.
In his opening remark, the Director of Information Management, Brigadier Gen.Tsoho explained that the event is aimed at reminding all media influencers on the need to use the potent weapon (media) positively rather than to use it in undermining the honest effort of the military who put their lives on the line to defend and protect lives and property of Nigerians. He further gave the objectives of the events as: to partner with the social media influencers to use the media in creating awareness of the successes recorded by the Nigerian Army, to discuss the adverse effects of fake and unbalanced reportage, to highlight the importance of correct narrative of the the Nigerian Army, and to enable exchange of ideas and experience sharing on how to judiciously utilize social media.
Fielding questions from news men, Brigadier Gen. Tsoho noted that the Nigerian Army is highly organised and professional in the discharge of its constitutional duties, adding that the Nigerian Army is completely apolitical as opposed to misconceptions of some Nigerians.
Still speaking, Tsoho explained that ‘non-kinetic’ as used in the theme of the event means the effort of the Nigerian Army that does not involve the hard hitting force, noting that it is aimed at touching the lives of the citizens through other means such as,construction of boreholes, roads, bridges – renovation of schools and medical outreach.
Concluding, Tsoho enjoined all journalists and social media influencers to always verify stories before publishing and to use the tool of the media to educate the citizens on the true successes recorded by the military on the fight against insurgency. And in a bid to counter malicious narratives of some enemies of the state, he urged journalists to let the citizens know that the Nigerian Army has gone beyond ‘guns’ and now even uses non-kinetic means of positively affecting the lives of the citizens. His words:
” Nigerian Army is a highly organised and professional agency. We are completely apolitical. We are neutral. We are not aligned to any political party. We are always committed to executing our constitutional mandate. Unfortunately, many Nigerians have wrong perception of us in this regard. Our role before or during elections is to provide enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. If we are to be involved in elections, we are often guided by rules of engagement.
There is a thin line between fake news, propaganda and good news. So, it takes a lot of professionalism and meticulousness to be able to disect, demarcate and to know which is which in order to produce a balanced reportage. We acknowledge the vital roles of the social media and therefore urge them to begin now to rewrite the narratives of the Nigerian Army as always maliciously written by some enemies of the state. Many Nigerians feel we are politicians. Many Nigerians feel we have not recorded huge successes and all what not. But, unfortunately, many Nigerians don’t know that we have thrown our lives on the line to fight insurgency because that’s our responsibility to our dear nation. Many Nigerians don’t know that we have already recorded a mountain of successes in the fight against insurgency. And many Nigerians don’t know we have even resorted to non-kinetic means of identifying with the citizens through execution of projects such as construction of boreholes,roads, bridges, renovation of schools and medical outreach,to ameliorate the plights of many Nigerians – these, we believe the social media influencers will help enlighten the citizens for them to change there wrong perceptions about the Nigerian Army..”
Earlier in an address, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu expressed happiness that the Nigerian Army as it’s today is a revolutionised one where high level of professionalism and patriotism reign supreme. He gave kudos to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai for his commitment and sought-after vision in introducing a lot of innovative ideas that have taken the Nigerian Army to the next level.
Continuing, Col. Nwachukwu, in his soft but penetrating characteristic voice, urged journalists and social media influencers to as a matter of their professional, moral and of course civic responsibilities, always toe the path of honour and patriotism by projecting all successes recorded by the Nigerian Army rather than sitting back and watch rumour peddlers and obvious enemies of the state undermine all honest effort of the military thereby, bringing the Nigerian Army to disrepute through their unverified, bogus and unfounded reportage. He called on the entire citizens to always be free with the military as they only joined the military to always protect them and the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
Also Fielding questions from journalists, the CEO of Security Affairs, Mr Austin Peacemaker described the Nigerian Army as one of the highly organised committed and professional in the world. He urged Nigerians to strive to try to separate the affairs of national security and politics in order not to continue hampering the successes of the Nigerian Army.
The highlights of the event were papers presented by the resource person, Mr Ikenna Anyadike and Lt Col. PAJ Ebuk, interective sessions/ discussions on the papers delivered, the revelation of various projects executed by the Nigerian Army shown in a projector and presentation of certificates to all participants.