The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali has called for synergy between the security agencies and the media for enhanced internal security and territorial integrity of the Nation.
The Minister made the call at the national workshop on ‘Civil Military Relations and the Media in contemporary polity’ in Kaduna.
Ali said, given the theme of the workshop: ‘Civil Military Relations and the Media in Contemporary Polity”, it is expected that deliberations on ways and means of forging the needed synergy between both institutions will be achieved.
The Minister explained that, the main goal of the military activities is no longer exclusively the defeat of an adversary but creation of a safe environment for comprehensive and inclusive post conflicts in political and social order.
“The post modern soldier is not only a fighter but a peacekeeper, Policeman, Diplomat, social worker and peace corps worker for the purpose of underscoring the significance of civil Military Relations as a management tool in the defense sector of any Nation”.
He said the media on the other hand is not only sceptical, intrusive, freewheeling and entrepreneurial by its nature but also responds to the basic tenets to bring to public scrutiny the actions of government, which also includes the Military and other security agencies.
Mode of Operation
Ali lamented that, the divergence orientation and mode of operation are the fundamental reasons for incessant friction between the media and security agencies who ordinarily should be united by their common goal of protecting the interest of the country.
“Fact armed conflict situations or theatres of war often present fertile ground for fiction between the Military and the Media”, he stressed.
He further mentioned that in worst of armed conflict cases, the Military must at all times be conscious of the law and guided by the rules of engagement which demands granting reasonable access and ensuring adequate protection for media practitioners.
The Minister called on journalist to also be guided by professional ethics, corporate social responsibility and related principles of responsible and developmental journalism.
He added that the Media has a duty to exercise restraint on the content of reports on frontline situation to avoid feeding the public with graphic facts and sensitive information that may invisibly strengthen the enemy camp at the detriment of legitimate State authorities.
He urged the participants to ensure deliberate efforts are sustained in creating a framework for enhanced synergy amongst the two institutions in order to efficiently combat the rising level of crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
The papers that were presented at the workshop on day one included; ‘Civil Military Relations: overview of concepts, institutional Framework and Roles’ by Mahmud Jega, Media Trust.
Also to present a paper is the Executive Secretary, Centre for Crisis Communication, Air Commodore Y Anas Rtd on ‘Defense and Security Information Management; Media Perspective’.
The presentation on ‘Defence and Security Information Management: Security Perspective’ was presented by Commodore K Aliyu Rtd.