Nigeria: Insurgency – Need for Better Media, Military Working Relationship


Kaduna — Among the many challenges confronting the nation, the lack of collaboration between two relevant sectors in the polity hardly takes a front seat. But when allowing mutual suspicion and altercations to linger threaten to take a toll on national security, there is the need to be cautious.

The Ministry of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, worried by the lack of collaboration between the military, saddled with the task of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation as well as crushing any form of threat to the cooperate existence of the country, and the media with the responsibility of disseminating information decided to synergies to create a template that would be beneficial to Nigeria.

The ministry organized a two-day national workshop with the theme “Civil Military Relations and the Media in Contemporary Polity” in Kaduna and drew participants from security outfits and the media to share ideas about how these could be achieved.

Key speakers at the workshop include a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya, Prof. Elelmika Etannibi of the University of Jos, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Media Trust Ltd, Malam Mahmud Jega, Prof. Kemi Rotimi, Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, chairman, editorial board of Thisday Newspapers, Olusegun Adeniyi and others.

Security participants cut across the Army, Air Force, Navy, Department of State Security, Police, Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Fire Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Federal Road Safety Corps among others.

It was noted that as Nigeria is battling insurgency in mainly the North eastern part of the country, other criminal activities with more threatening features have reared their heads. They include cattle rustling, kidnapping, farmers/herders clash, rise of street gangsters and other forms of violence.

The Minister of Defense, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, representatives of Kaduna and Katsina state governors, representative of the Inspector General of Police among others graced the workshop.

The minister called for increase inter-security agency collaboration in the area of intelligence information sharing and effective collaboration with the media to turn the tide against criminal elements.

The CDS said the armed forces and the media have a responsibility towards protecting the citizenry hence must partner to achieve that goal instead of working at cross purposes.

Dr. Jimam Lar, History department, University of Jos, in his paper “Interface of security agencies with human rights community,” observed that in theory, the relationship between the military and civil society organisations ought to be cordial but said that was far from reality.

The Chairman of Thisday editorial board, Adeniyi said holding such sessions was not new stressing that what will be new was the ideas generated at the conference form a new civil-military engagement in Nigeria.

Professor Chukwuma C. Osakwe, Head of History and War Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), Kaduna on his part said the peculiar wars of the century like terrorism and insurgency, which play out in a platform or battle space that may be internal or external require the wining of “hearts and minds” for it to be consummated.

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Publish date : 2019-03-31 08:05:51

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