Army, DSA, NIPR, NUJ, Others Move To Change Wrong Perceptions On Security Situation In Nigeria

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Concerned about the way most citizens view security challenges in the country, the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) and Development Specs Academy (DSA), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Voice of Nigeria (VON), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)among others, have concluded plans to hold a RoundTable aimed at changing certain wrong perceptions particularly against the Army.

The RoundTable which is scheduled for Monday, June 24, and Tuesday, June 25, 2024 will be used to re-emphasize the specific and general roles of the military, particularly the Nigerian army, in the cocktail of structures, activities and processes that constitute national security architecture.

Prof Okey Ikechukwu, Executive Director of Development Specs Academy (DSA), who stated these, also told journalists in Abuja on Friday, June 21, 2024 that the event will strengthen public awareness about on ‘Asymmetrical National Security Challenges, the Army and National development’.

He said that from pre-event investigations, surveys and consultations for the RoundTable, it became clear that more and more Nigerians see and treat national security problems that are threatening their very lives as purely the business of the military and, especially, the army.

Okechukwu further said; “That is why this RoundTable seeks to drive a new narrative, by getting Nigeria’s various publics to see and understand their roles, and the roles of other key actors, in the wider national ecosystem of synchronized security.

“This should address the emerging challenges and deliberate misrepresentations of our men in uniform as objectively as possible”.

Prof Okechukwu said some of the Strategic Partners in the endeavour to include, the Nigerian Institute of Public relations (NIPR), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Voice of Nigeria (VON), News agency of Nigerian (NAN), Institute for Strategic Development Communication (ISDEVCOM), Nnamdi Azikiwe Business School (IBS), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the Institute for Peace, Security and Development Studies (IPSDS).

He explained that the essence of drawing special attention to the strategic partners, is to emphasize the roles and relevance of credible and highly regarded professional bodies, institutes and institutions, as well as agencies of government that are headed by professional in public communication, professional information management and the media.

Okechukwu said that the DSA went round and consulted with all of the key stakeholders in the process of preparing for the RoundTable, adding that the Roundtable is designed as a Third-Party initiative, to distil and present Implementable Action Points (IAPs) on pressing asymmetrical national security challenges.

He further said; “These are security challenges that do not take the simple form of easily-identified, routinely compartmentalized, properly isolated and unilaterally targetable problems.

“They range from embedded targets, refusal to help the army and other security agencies with local intelligence, the targeting of military personnel for hostile civilian attention, unproductive community engagements, deliberate misrepresentation of the activities and achievements of the Nigerian Army through fake news, deliberate misinformation and disinformation, among other disruptive activities,” he said.

Okechukwu also said that the scheduled RoundTable will project national interest narratives in an objective and professional manner, while promoting public understanding of the roles, and achievements, of the Nigerian Army in the ongoing efforts to protect and secure the Nigerian State.

He further said that it will also project National Interest Communication without Propaganda (NIC–P) and hopefully metamorphose into a platform for regular updates on the efforts of the Nigerian Army and the national security apparatus.

According to him; ““This RoundTable shall, among other things, showcase facts-based reviews of current asymmetrical national security challenges and the achievements of the Nigerian Army in that regard.
“Present a holistic perspective on the imperatives of a ‘whole of society approach’ to national security challenges.
“Use Chatham House Rules to project Third-Party presentations, narratives and suggestions that the Nigerian Army and other players in the national security framework may not be able to put in the public domain, because of constraints of professional protocols and political considerations.

“Establish informed linkages between the fallouts of misguided political decisions, overlooked multiplier effects of the operating environment and emerging national security challenges in different parts of the country.
“Present our general and specific security challenges, as well as the efforts and achievements of the military, particularly the Nigerian army, in dealing with them,” he said.

Speaking in turn, Major-General Garba Wahab (rtd), Director General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja said that there is so much wrong perception of the role of the Army in the asymmetrical war taking place in the country.

General Wahab said that the Army Resource Centre is working and ensuring that on weekly basis, it send reports of the real situation of things to the political leadership to reduce the misconception of the role of the army at the war front.

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