Buratai, others seek media, security agencies synergy
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Col. Tukur Buratai and other stakeholders have stressed the need for the media and security agencies to work together to overcome the challenges of protecting lives and property in the country.
Buratai and the former Director General of the Department for State Services (DSS), Col. Kayode Are (rtd) who spoke yesterday at the ongoing Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) National Summit in Abeokuta, Ogun State agreed that the media play a key role in promoting national security.
Delivering a paper on “Mass Media and National Security,” Buratai, who was represented by the Commander of Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), Col. John Agim, said adequate media coverage of army operations in the war against Boko Haram in the North-East had changed the perception of many Nigerians about the military.
He disclosed that the media assisted in mobilising both local and international support for the army, stressing that it also helped in communicating the objectives of the military to the masses.
The COAS, however, lamented that some media organisations report news lacking national interest. “Some media houses are established to promote regional interest and ethnic division instead of promoting national unity,” he said.Buratai urged the media to always place national security ahead in their profession.
Col. Are called for constant consultation between the media and the various security agencies, saying they must both work together to earn each other’s trust.The Chairman of the panel, Prince Tony Momoh, urged the media to avoid inciting the people against government, advising journalists to help in breaking political, social, religious and ethnic barriers in the country.
Opening the event on Tuesday, Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun said: “It is imperative that journalists as professionals should guard against individuals seeking to take advantage of the formidable power of the profession to achieve selfish means.”
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau said the power and significant of the media lies in the their role as watchdog to government activities. In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello advised journalists to lead the war against crime and foster national disintegration irrespective of political, ethnic and religious divisions.