Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola on Monday lauded the initiative of the Nigerian Army to open up its non-kinetic activities to the populace by organizing seminar for Online Media Practitioners and social media influencers.
Oyetola said that a blend of active and soft forces is required to win the war against insurgency and perpetually restore peace to Nigeria.
He advocated collective efforts in the fight against the raging insecurity in the country, noting that collaborative effort and patriotism remain the tool that both the military and the civilians require for the nation to win the war against insurgency.
This is even as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai said Nigerian Army is ever ready to end the raging security challenges as it would leave no stone unturned in curbing criminal activities and ensuring general security in Nigeria.
Oyetola spoke on Monday at the 10th edition of the Social Media Seminar organised by the Department of Civil-Military Affairs in conjunction with the Security Affairs Limited for social media influencers, bloggers, online journalists and members of the Civil Society Organisations, at Aenon Suites and Hotels International, GRA, Osogbo, Osun.
Governor Oyetola who described security as sine qua non to sustainable democratic governance, peace, unity and stability of any nation, saluted the vision of the leadership of Nigerian Army for engaging in Military-Civil Relations activities to foster cordial relationship as part of the non-kinetic operations designed to improve Army operations and restore peace to the nation.
Extoling the theme of the seminar, Civil-Military Relations: The Evolving Role of the Social Media in Support of the Nigerian Army’s Non-Kinetic Line of Operations, Oyetola said the seminar came at a challenging time when fake news is menacingly fuelling the raging insecurity and hampering the modest efforts of the military to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.
He said the seminar would go a long way to offer a potent platform for the military who has responsibility to secure the territorial integrity and security of the nation and social media practitioners who have a duty to hold the military and other agencies to account to address grey areas that are capable of compromising security, endangering the public interest and hampering professionalism in the public interest while also collaborating on professional areas that can be mutually beneficial for the nation and their respective professions.
The Governor who noted that the statutory duties of the military and the media are complementary and that both have responsibilities for the peace and wellbeing of the people and their fatherland, stressed that the seminar came at a time the social media is evolving as a medium of huge global reach and strong capacity for moulding opinions in a technology-driven world.
“Communication is central to military and security operations. It has the capacity to make or mar security strategies and operations and consequently secure the nation or expose it to jeopardy.
“This realisation makes it expedient for the military and media practitioners to constantly collaborate to interrogate their operations in the national and the public interests.
“It is therefore gratifying that the Nigerian Army has organised this seminar to provide an avenue for it to enlighten the civil populace about its activities and to collaborate with social media practitioners to seek their cooperation and to curb the fake news syndrome that is cancerous to military operations.
“With this seminar, the Nigerian Army has proved beyond a doubt that it recognises the need for a holistic method to restore peace and security to the nation.
“The non-conventional and militia nature of the nation’s raging insecurity makes collaboration between the military and the civilian expedient, especially in a world heavily driven by technology”, he added.
The Governor further urged Social Media influencers to make peace and the public interest their watchword and, to uphold the code of journalism which includes truth, balance, public trust, objectivity, impartiality and abstain from fake news and unverified information which are capable of compromising the nation’s security and interest.
He also said, “I urge the Nigerian Army to make organisation of military-civilian workshops, seminars and conferences a regular occurrence in view of the strategic importance of military-civilian relations and the need for the military-social media collaborations at these challenging times.
“Beyond this seminar, efforts must also be made by the participants and the organisers to cultivate personal and institutional friendships to foster mutual trust, achieve professionalism and consequently engender national interest.”
Governor Oyetola commended the Chief of Army Staff for his huge support for Osun and the southwest states in their efforts to secure the state and the region
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, lauded the continued support of the administration of Governor Oyetola for the Nigerian Army.
He said the seminar was one of the fora the Army uses to disseminate prompt information to curb the menace of fake news syndrome.
Buratai who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun, acknowledged the hands of fellowship that the Nigerian Army has been receiving from the civil populace, saying the seminar would further strengthen cordiality between the military and civil populace.
“The Nigerian Army under my leadership is fully aware of high level of cooperation and goodwill we enjoy from the members of the public across the country.
“The Nigerian Army has therefore over the years taken deliberate efforts in ensuring it gives back to the society in the areas of corporate social responsibilities as this had engendered closer cooperation to the civil components and ultimately in providing conducive environment for the execution of our onerous tasks.
“This is very much in line with our vision to have a professionally responsible Nigerian Army in discharge of its constitutional role and the need to ensure we have a good and cordial relationship with the Civil Society Organisations and the host communities where we conduct our several military operations can not be over-emphasised.
“This is because the interaction forms the basis of Non-Kinetic of our operations as the seminar is very much in line with the Civil-Military cooperation drive of Nigerian Army aimed towards bridging the gap between civil populace and the Nigerian Army”, Buratai added.
In his commendation, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Hammed Adekunle Makama Oyelude Tegbosun 3 called on the Army to be more media friendly and be ready to let media appraise its successes on the security.
Oba Oyelude said the political problems confronting the Nigerian Army is enormous, adding that it’s very important the Army get those serving as saboteur arrested.
The Monarch called in Nigerians to see the Army as theirs, stating that they needed to be motivated, encouraged and supported at all times.