The Nigerian military has called on citizens to support the fight against insecurity by always giving necessary information about any criminal activities in their environs, this is as they continue to explore various measures that can enable lasting solutions to the current situation.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, made the call in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists after a dialogue session between the media and security agencies organised by the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) themed ‘Strengthening Media and Security Collaboration for Social Peace’.
The dialogue was convened to extensively dissect the role of the media and security agencies in conflict situations, examine the challenges confronted by both institutions, and explore common ground for a collaboration that can improve better conflict reporting in the media space.
According to Gabkwet, “Once everybody is involved in the fight against insecurity I assure you in just a matter of time these issues will be addressed.
Let’s look at the challenge as the challenge for all of us and not just the military. If you have any information on criminal elements killing people in your environment inform us and let’s together win this war,” he urged.
Also fielding questions from journalists, the Chief Executive/Publisher of Premium Times Dapo Olorunyomi, noted that the dialogue between security agencies and the media became pertinent considering that both play critical role in ensuring peace in the nation.
Olorunyomi expressed worry on the rising insecurity accros the country, maintaining that it was very critical to centre media in the narrative of the military and the conquest of the enemy.
“The country is dotted with points of conflict and this is critical because the military is deployed to 34 out of 36 states of the country and so if we want to narrate the stories on a daily basis we are going to be interfacing with the security agencies so if we are not working together as a team it is important that we dialogue”
He disclosed that during the dialogue both security officials and the editors emphasised on the need to build trust, adding that they also stressed the need to respect the ethics of professionalism of both the military and journalists.
“The round table was organised because of the reality of our country and because the engagement between the security agencies and Journalist is not too wholesome but if we get some sense of togetherness in that level perhaps things will get better.
“Highpoint of the meeting is the fact that they both agree that they have a legal obligation to the nation and that power at every level is accountable and so should walk through this challenge.
“Truth is, in every country where there has been war it has not been won with bullets and guns, it’s important to make the whole communites understand this and then join forces to end this.
Meanwhile, Media Executive / Author Ejiro Umukoro, described the dialogue as apt, while urging colleagues to ensure that truth must always guide what they do, fact finding, knowledge and most importantly understand that whatever narratives put out there influences people’s choices and may even lead to crises.
“Our job is to give the people powerful information and not escalate the situation but promote more peace in Nigeria.
Self sensorship is very critical for the media and this is driven by ethics and respect for compliance, respect for having regulations. The moment we realise that self regulation is something we do as a culture, a policy driven by a system, the people will listen to us . Ethics should be our way of life because we seem to be lacking in this,” she said.