Jonathan Commissions First Armed Forces Radio Station
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has charged Nigerians to support the patriotic Nigerians soldiers who have put their lives on the line as they battle insurgencies in the northeast.
He noted that unnecessary criticism of their operations in the line of duty has the potential of demoralising the soldiers and unduly popularising the insurgents.
The President, who spoke yesterday while commissioning the first Nigerian Armed Forces Radio Station at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja, noted that while it was right to criticise the military, just like any other national institution, such criticism should be constructive and must be in the national interest.
The establishment of the radio station, according to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alexander Sabundu Badeh, was to correct inaccuracies of information emanating from the conventional news media within and outside the country about the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the north eastern part of the country.
He said because of the development, it was unanimously agreed that a Defence Radio Station should be established to disseminate true and accurate information about the Nigerian Armed Forces and its activities.
The President described the ceremony as a very special one that highlights the importance of communication of their activities to the wider society. “Today that you are launching your radio station will be a turning point; some of your operations will be properly covered and Nigerians will know.
If they know what you are doing and what you are passing through, they will remain grateful,” he said. “And I use this opportunity to call on all Nigerians both our senior citizens and our ordinary citizens to appreciate the commitment and the sacrifices of our armed forces. We wouldn’t have been sleeping if these people were not working.
I always feel a bit worried and at times angry when I read in the papers comments about our armed forces and the police.
“Ours is a society that sometimes doesn’t appreciate the commitment of individuals, suffering of individuals. These people fight and some times pay the supreme price, leaving widows and children.
Instead of commending and encouraging them, sometimes we criticise, ” he said. The CDS admitted that the media as a watchdog of the society plays a very important role in shaping public opinion for or against any activity of government and its agencies, including the conduct of military operations. “This is invaluable in maintaining the morale of troops.
Therefore, a balanced and objective reportage of the military helps to shape public perception of the military as a highly professional and patriotic organization which deserves the encouragement and the support of all citizens,” he noted.