By; ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna.
The new Spokesman of 1Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Colonel Kingsley Umoh has stressed the need for the mass media to be sensitive to national harmony and the humanness in Nigerians in their reportage of especially security issues as there must be Nigeria first before any institution.
Col Umoh made this call during a courtesy visit to New Nigerian Newspapers, Kaduna as part of his familiarisation tour of media houses.
He stressed that the military, especially the Nigerian Army is making lot of sacrifices to ensure security of lives and property as well, the territorial safety of Nigeria. He solicited the support and cooperation of New Nigerian Newspapers in the success of the military and 1 Division stressing that the military is open now and ready to partner the media in the interest of the nation.
However, he observed that certain media messages dished out sometime does not help the Armed Forces in doing their job effectively or reflect the true acts of troops at the front line. He cited examples of situations where focus should be on the criminality of an act and the criminal as against the ethnicity or faith of the actors involved in such criminal acts which polarises the society further.
Umoh asserted that one cannot be a Public Relations Officer, PRO, without been passionate about the media and interface with them regularly.
A member of 40th Regular Course of Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Umoh was also a PRO of the foremost military university as a Major. He is also a member of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations NIPR, and also on the board of Nollywood because of his passion to utilise the movies to portray the military in a positive light and the gallantry of their men in security situations.
Responding, the Managing Director of New Nigerian Newspapers Mallam Tukur Abdulrahman said the media outfit is known for pioneering responsible journalism with the touch of nationalism with patriotism, placing Nigeria first.
He stressed that NNN is a training ground for journalist as most media houses across the nation in operation today boast of seasoned journalists who cut their professional teeth at NNN.
Abdulrahman said he was glad things are changing in the military with regards to openness to the media and the society at large. People he said now associate with the military and hoped the tempo is sustained.
“We criticise in the interest of the nation as we will never cause friction between the military and the media or the society at large as we need the military as the military need us” he stressed.
“We hope you would be proactive in information management and feel at home” he urged the PRO, assuring him of the full cooperation of the organisation.