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Military, journalists partners in progress – CDS

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Military, journalists partners in progress – CDS

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has described journalists and the Armed Forces of Nigeria as partners in progress in ensuring lasting peace and tranquility in the country.

Irabor said this at the opening of a 3-Day Conference on “Enhancing Journalists-Military Cooperation to Checking Insecurity in Nigeria” organised by Zacklair Investment Limited on Tuesday in Abuja.

Represented by the Chief of Defence Civil-Military Cooperation, Rear Adm. Adeseye Ayobanjo, the CDS said that journalists had steadfastly executed the duties of informing, educating and enlightening the public.

Irabor said that the journalists update the public daily on occurrences and activities happening around them and beyond.

He added that Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended entrusted the military with the responsibility of defending the country from external aggression.

According to him, the military are also empowered constitutionally to maintain its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea or air.

In his words, “it can be deduced that journalists work on the minds and soul of the populace using their medium and platforms to condition the minds of people and set agenda to enable people make informed decisions on day-to-day issues.”

Irabor said the military on the other hand, had the responsibility of ensuring that the physical space was not threatened or violated by any injurious force or actions.

These actions, he said are perpetuated by enemies of the state that could lead to disruption of peace and orderliness in the society.

He said that journalists and members of the armed forces remained partners in progress that needed each other to actualise the mandates of their professional callings.

“For instance, notwithstanding military monopoly in the use of the weapons of violence, it cannot win the war in the hearts and minds of the people by kinetic means.

“On the other hand, in spite of journalists’ ability to use the power of the pen and media to articulate and disseminate opinions and issues, they need a safe space and conducive environment.

“This is facilitated by the military and other security agencies for human activities to thrive.

“This marriage of necessity between the military and journalists has come to stay because there cannot be any form of development in the absence of enduring peace and transquility.

“That said, the marriage is not altogether without conflict,” he added.

The CDS said the conference was timely in view of the myriads of contemporary security challenges bedeviling the country vis a vis the various military operations being conducted to stem the tide of criminalities in various parts of the country.

He said that patriotism would help both military and journalists to set aside professional differences and peculiarities to project the country favourably in the eyes of both national and global communities.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, said there was need for military and the media to work together to mitigate situations that would threaten peace and stability in the society.

Isiguzo said the media had the responsibility of setting an agenda in managing conflict like the strategies for reducing conflict, adding that every situation of conflict had typical cycle or pre-conflict stage, the conflict stage and post conflict stage.

According to him, the media, no doubt, still remains one of the most reliable institutions, especially in the context of conflict resolution and development.

He however, urged journalists to be conflict managers, long before conflicts and their attendant consequences manifest.

Military, journalists partners in progress – CDS

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