Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Thursday, enjoined the media to always be objective when reporting security issues.
Akelicious that Ugwuanyi gave the advice in an address at a Two-day Civil-Media-Military Relations Summit for the South-East in Enugu.
The theme of the summit, organised by the Directorate of Army Public Relations, is “Galvanizing Citizens Support for Military Operations in Nigeria through the Media.’’
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, Ugwuanyi said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the discharge of their duties in the state.
According to him, media practitioners must be careful at all times to ensure that information they disseminate is tailored to enhance national security.
“Information wrongly served and portrayed will surely have negative consequences on the nation and her citizens.
“So, I enjoin the mass media and the practitioners to be objective, fair and patriotic at all times in order to contribute their quota to national safety, peace and development,’’ he said.
Ugwuanyi thanked the Nigerian Army for organising the summit in Enugu, adding that the state was the most peaceful in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said that the summit was a prelude to the official inauguration, “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’, meaning Peaceful Dance 1.
Represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udom, Buratai said that the summit was also meant to enhance the civil-media-military relationship in the South-East.
He urged the media to ensure adequate and well packaged coverage of all army exercises as well as explain the laudable rationale behind them.
“It is also meant to galvanise citizens’ support for military exercises in Nigeria through the media and ensure that the media and civil populace are carried along in all army exercises.
“The summit will also help to fashion out new and better way to deal with security issues and elicit the necessary feedback from the civil populace on army training exercises in the zone.
“However, it should be noted that army exercises are also used by the Nigerian Army to carry out needful community services and make positive impact on the citizens,’’ he said.
Brig.-Gen. Lasisi Adegboye, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division, Nigerian Army, said that the exercise was not meant to witch-hunt anybody.
Adegboye said that it was to check kidnapping, armed robbery, arson, cultism and other heinous crime in the zone.
“In the exercise, there will be sanitation, clearing of drains, medical outreaches, road construction, educational support and other social works carried out in selected communities in the South-East and 82 Division Area of Responsibility,’’ he said.