Association of online editors, Defence Information reaches agreement to work together

Association of online editors, Defence Information reaches agreement to work together
June 05 14:03 2024 Print This Article

…….Attacks on Military Personnel Barbaric and Must Stop Now! – Gen Gusau

The military on Tuesday, solicited media support over the unending security challenges in the country, as it re-echoed its readiness to wage war against any individuals attacking its men on the cause of delivering their constitutional roles, says all acts of barbarism against military personnel can no longer be tolerated henceforth.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig General Tukur Gusau, made the statement on Tuesday while addressing members of the Association of Corporate Online Editors (ACOE), on a courtesy visit to his office.

Welcoming the publishers, the military spokesperson reiterated the Defence Headquarters’s earlier position, saying further attack on his men by civilians would not be tolerated further. He vows that the military will use the instrumentality of the law against any act of barbarism action against its men while in uniform.

He speaks:
“Thank you so much for finding time to be in my office for this courtesy call, despite the rescheduled appointment.

“First, we all know the importance of the Media, especially online media.  Nowadays, online media seems to be faster than even the traditional media. Sometimes, it may take a day or two for news to appear on the newsstand with the traditional media.

“As for the online media, within a twinkle of an eye, it is already in the public domain, and I have to commend one of you here,  GeeTv Khadijah, she is always the best with the speed with which she has been taking our news, including some of you.

“I must tell you I enjoy better working relationships with online media than even the traditional media, probably the traditional media delayed most times to critically consider the contents for publications.

“Today, however, everybody has become a journalist, who cannot afford to waste time in sending out information, especially critical information that has to do with our military operations and engagements.

“So I must thank you for giving us the space and your platforms, to issue out our press releases and making our operations well known to Nigerians,” Gusau stressed.

On recent extrajudicial killings of his men, the DDI appreciated the visiting publishers for their empathy. He seized the opportunity to address the matter head-on. Gusau admonished Nigerians to consider the military as their own that must be nourished, saying all must join in the war against common enemies of Nigeria.

He speaks: “Also, I thank you so much for commiserating with us, in respect of the unfortunate killings of our soldiers last week in Abba and that of Okuama in Delta State, and also the unfortunate incidence in Banex plaza, Abuja.

“One thing Nigerians must understand is that the military is their own, and there are no foreigners in the Nigerian armed forces. We all belong to the community, we belong to the same people we are protecting. They are recruited into the military Remember the following phrase: by their state of origin and where they come from.

“It is when we start the job that we don’t talk about where we come from, but the same opportunity is given to the 36 States of the federation, that is to say, we belong somewhere, we belong to the same community, we are not from outside.

“I will encourage people to see the military as their own.

“When the CDS came to the office, about a year ago, he came up with a leadership concept, and one of them is that, whatever we want to do, we have to consider the larger Nigeria first. Whatever we want to do has to be in tandem with the yearning of the people, people must be considered first. We have to come down to the level of understanding of Nigerians.

“What the CDS is trying to say is that we are Nigerians and not from another planet, and we are here to protect and secure our own country. This is because we don’t have another country aside from Nigeria.

“God forbid if Nigerians were to disintegrate like some troubled countries for whatever reason, tell me, which nation of the world can take the huge population of Nigeria? Other countries survive today because they unite and confront the common enemies of their country. They ensure they address their various challenges such as economy, security and what have you.

“So Nigerians must come together and see ourselves as one.

“Attacking military personnel is unacceptable, uncalled for and no patriotic Nigerians should afford to attack, save for killing military personnel who is carrying out his or her lawful and constitutional roles.

“Where our personnel flouted any rule or do anything wrong, we have our means of addressing such misbehavior. We have our hotlines that are in circulation; we have human rights where the masses can work up to and lay their complaints against any personnel and appropriate actions will be taken.

“We have standing Court Martial across our divisions and formations, this is to tell you that we have channels of addressing military-related matters brought before us.

“But it is barbaric, uncalled for, and unacceptable for people to take the law into their hands against military personnel on the street. This is unacceptable, and cannot fold our alms and see people attacking our military personnel.

“This uniform is a symbol of state and authority. There are avenues for which Nigerians must seek redress against any military personnel found wanton.

“I want to believe that this should be the last time we would be hearing things of this nature. We would take no such lightly anymore, and we would do nothing outside the ambit of the law in addressing any of such in the future, and we will also not take laws into our own hands. He said.

The Defence Spokesperson assured the Editors of the request for synergy, and pledged the military’s support towards their programs, as requested.

“On partnership with the DHQ, our doors are open and we have already started, probably not with the association as a body, but given the numbers of your colleagues in our midst, we would be ready to support you.

“Whatever areas of support are needed, we would be ready as far as it is something we can handle. Let us know when it is time for your investiture program, we shall play our role.

“You proposed working with us, as I said earlier, we have started, and some of you are already doing well in your reportage, even though I will encourage you to always endeavor to get in touch for clarities, we are partners in progress. What we are doing is for the interest of Nigeria, nothing more, nothing less.

“On this note, I thank all of you for finding time to come to my office. I encourage you to feel free to approach us over your programs.” He concluded.

Speaking earlier, the President of the Association of Corporate Online Editors, Martin Odiete while commiserated with the Military over their losses in recent times, especially the attacks on its men while on duty, emphasized the need to work with the military in addressing similar occurrences in the future.

“With me here are members of our executives and other members of the association, among them are members of this bit, they report this bit exclusively and that is why we engage them to be with us on this assignment.

“We are members of about sixty online media organizations, which cut across Nigeria. We are almost two years of existence and we deem it fit to come and familiarize ourselves with Defence headquarters to form synergy with Defence Information.

“But before we go further, we want to commiserate with the Nigerian Military on the loss of your soldiers in Abba, Okuama, Delta State, and lately the unfortunate incident that happened at Banex Plaza, Abuja. Our association condemns those acts in its entirety.

“We have discussed this among us, we said Nigeria cannot be reduced to a banana republic where our security operatives, who are meant to secure our lives and properties are attacked at will.

“We condemn this act and also charged the military that should go all out to ensure that those who are responsible are brought to book,” Odiete assured.

Odiete further solicited the Defence Headquarters’s collaboration for the successful implementation of the association’s pan-Nigerian agendas:

“Our association is about two years in operation right now. We are members who are online individuals. We are Editors and Publishers with track records.

“The future of the Media is going online, and the online media has overtaken the media space. It is given this that we felt we should engage with the Defence Headquarters, that we are an association you can work with and we are ready to work with you. The military needs to know us better. There is a need to synergize with the DHQ, we are willing to carry your news as it drops.
We want to be partners in progress with you.

“We also have our members who report the Defence Headquarters in debt. I cover the Defence, my Secretary here covers the Defence and some of us here cover the Defence.

“As an association that is newly registered by the Federal government through the Corporate Affairs Commission, we are here to plead with the Defence Headquarters to partner with us for the future.

“Very soon, we shall be having our investiture event. It is our flagship program, which is going to be a weeklong event. We would appreciate the Director of Defence to play a very key role in that program. It is a big platform that the world will hook up to.

“These, among other programs of the association, such as seminars and workshops shall take the center stage of our activities as a media body, to instill ethics of journalism in our members as we progress.

“We, therefore seek your partnership on this program, and the essence of the visit is to come around and solidify our relationship, that we are ready to work with the Nigerian military, especially the Defence Headquarters.

“On this program, our Secretary would be on the ground to interface with your office and brief you more on our program when the time arrives. Right now, we are putting the structures in place.

“We are a nonprofit-making body that has no subvention from the government, but we rely on goodwill from our friends to help us exist and carry out our activities. In this regard, we might seek your assistance in due course and plead that you obliged us with positive responses.

“We want to thank you so much, General, this is an association that is willing to work with you.

“We are editors, not reporters; these are gatekeepers in their various associations. Some of our members report to Defence Headquarters by themselves, given the significant roles the military is playing in securing the nation in a time like this.

“They are Editors and Publishers in their rights, and we pray that you accord them that respect. Most times, when you invite editors from other conventional platforms, some of our members are not invited. We are therefore asking to be considered as those of other platforms.’ Odiete opined.

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