The Nigerian Army on Monday warned its officers against disseminating sensitive operational information on the social media.The Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Chukwuemeka Onwuamaegbu, gave the warning at the opening of the second quarter study meeting of officers of the Directorate of Army Public Relations, DAPR, in Kaduna.
Mr. Onwuamaegbu said although the social media has a global appeal, the officers must be cautious in using it, to avert security breach.
“In addition to all the benefit we can get from the new media, we also have drawbacks. I have personally seen a few posting on Facebook, twitter by service personnel that should not be there.
“So I hope that during this period they will be able to know the disadvantages of the new media to be able to caution service personnel about some of this posting that should not be there in the cyber.”
The commandant advised the directorate to engage more vibrant officers with knowledge on the new media to assist in monitoring activities on the social media.
Also, the Director, Army Public Relations, Ibrahim Attahiru, said the study period would be used to train officers on the use of the social media in line with contemporary challenges.
“The Directorate intends to use the social media not only to tell the Nigerian Army’s story, but it also intends to use the social media to listen,” he said.
Mr. Attahiru said the theme, ”Leveraging the New Media for Effective Public Relations Practice in the NA Towards Combating Contemporary Challenges,” would build the capacity of the officers, through intellectual interactions with specialists in the field.
“Social media remains a powerful communications tool. When used correctly, social media can help the NA reach an enormous audience. Social media can help the NA engage in conversation while at the same time promoting awareness,” he said.
He said the directorate would soon come up with a media policy for the Nigerian Army that would enhance awareness among its personnel on the effective handling of social media.
On his part, a resource person, Tope Fasua, in a paper on “Information Messaging in the New Media”, urged the army to be more involved in the social media, as it would help influence public opinion and deliver information on current information on its activities.
The study period would last four days.