With Christmas and New Year seasons fast approaching, the Nigerian Army has urged citizens to be extra vigilant and security conscious in tackling insecurity in the country.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, made the call at the Inaugural Annual Lecture of Class of 1992, Alumni of Mass Communication Department, Bayero University Kano, BUK, at the weekend.
Usman, a Colonel, who is also an old student of the department, delivered a paper on “Crisis Communication for security Consciousness – A Case Study of Nigeria”.
The army spokesman, who insisted that the Nigerian military and intelligence operatives are virtually in every local government council in the country, said that the citizens should not only rely on security for protection but should be security conscious and provide useful information to relevant security agencies.
He said: “With the kind of intelligence we receive regularly from the military and security operatives, the citizens need to be proactive and security conscious while the media intensify campaign on same.
“Internal security challenge is not a problem unique to Nigeria. The US, UK, France and many other countries, face similar challenges within their borders on daily basis. The difference between these countries and ours is the management of threats by the government and the citizenry, how knowledgeable they are, how patriotic and united their citizens are against threats of insecurity and crisis.
“The countries are never divided on political, ethical, religion or professional ground when the interest of the nation is the subject. These cushion the effects of these crises on their national security and image. The fact therefore is that if Nigerians hope to build a nation of good brand, they have to work for it. It is at a time like this that all patriots must rise to the occasion and place the interest of the country above every other consideration.
“The media need to mobilize people during crisis as a cardinal element of national security effort. They have a duty to enlighten the public on the true situation in national war effort to guarantee national security. The report must focus on national unifying factors, emphasising the desired end state of the Armed Forces, which is to safeguard public good.
“In the on-going war on terror for example, the media must focus on atrocities of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT), the monumental humanitarian crisis and promote efforts of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in bringing the carnage to an end. This outweighs narrow compulsions of local and international media houses and individual reporters”.
While commending the organisers of the lecture for being the first of its kind on Crisis Communication to be organised by Alumni of that department, Col. Usman pointed out that Bayero University is recognized as Crisis-free and cult-free university in Nigeria
In his remarks at the occasion, the Head of Department of Mass Communication of the University, Balarabe Maikaba, who commended the Class 1992 Alumni for initiating the Annual Lecture on Crisis Communication, said that the Department has been upgraded to a full-fledged faculty with a new complex for media production.
Mr. Maikaba said “The new Faculty of Communication and Media Studies has three Departments of Journalism, Marketing Communication and Visual Art with an ultramodern studio for media production.
“With over 15 lecturers holding Phds including Professors in the faculty, we offers various programmes and courses on Communication studies, public relations, crisis communication, TV and Radio Production among others”, he concluded.