As he assumed the position of Director, Defence Information, in acting capacity on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Brigadier-General Tukur Gusau, is consciously wooing the press, among other strategic stakeholders, particularly in the face of the impending general elections.
Gusau took over the Directorate of Defence Information from the erstwhile Director, Major-General Jimmy Akpor, who was moved to Army Headquarters as Director Personnel Services in the most recent redeployment of its top brass by the Nigeria Army (NA).
Gusau commended his predecessor for forging better relationship with the media, which, according to him, helped to positively project the operations of the armed forces.
He also appreciated the media for the continuous support of the armed forces, and called for stronger relationship between the military and the media on matters of national security.
In his words: “I urge you to provide the enabling environment for members of the armed forces of Nigeria to perform their constitutional roles without distractions.
“As the nation gradually approach the coming general elections, starting from next month, I urge you to avoid reports capable of affecting the morale of our gallant troops and the credibility of our armed forces.”
While he assured that the armed forces would assist media practitioners to discharge their duties where necessary, Gusaadded that the military would also support other government agencies to achieve peaceful and credible elections across the country.
He described the military and the media as partners in progress, positing that the duo should strive to promote the interest of the country at all times.
“I urge you to offer me the same support, cooperation and understanding which you have rendered to Maj.-Gen. Akpor as Director of Defence Information,” Gusau said.
In his remarks, Akpor said that the media and the military now have deep understanding of their respective responsibilities.
According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has done so much in forging enduring relationship with the media.
Akpor said that this was necessary, because the media, like the military, has crucial role to play in creating peaceful and orderly environment for all citizens.
He commended the CDS for holding two media parleys with editors and media chief executives, where, according to him, fruitful discussions led to better understanding of the responsibilities of each profession in furtherance of national security.
Akpor, who tagged his speech the Truth About the Armed Forces of Nigeria, said that the Nigerian military has rich history of great exploits.
He cited the North-East where life has been returning to normal due to the efforts of the military after over a decade of insurgency.
He explained that there had been bumper agricultural harvest in 2022, and, for the first time in 13 years, the annual Nigeria’s Independence Day parade was held in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on October 1, 2022.
“Irrespective of the security challenges confronting the nation and the way they mutate, the armed forces will continue to build requisite capabilities through the support of the Federal Government.
“Whilst there were 48 piracy/armed robbery-related incidents in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 2018, 35 in 2019, 35 in 2020 and six in 2021, there was none in 2022.
“This was not due to wishful thinking, but due to dogged efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and availability of the critical assets provided.
“The truth about the armed forces is, therefore, a professional one rooted in its desire to meet its constitutional imperatives,” Akpor said.
He, therefore, urged the media to extend the same support given him to his successor, in order to enable him to discharge his responsibilities effectively.
Gusau has been described as a thorough-bred public relations professional who has served in different units, formations and military operations both at home and abroad.
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