Ben Dunno, Warri

Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja, has urged media practitioners to place more emphasis on objective reporting of events that led to gruesome killings of his men and officers at Okuoma community in Ughelli South Council area, rather whipping up undue sentiments in trying to justify the action of those behind the barbaric act.

Making the appeal in a keynote address delivered at the First Quarter, Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Media Chat held in Asaba, today, Lt. Gen Lagbaja, expressed the need for all and sundry to come together and collectively wage war against non-state actors who are deliberately out to undermine the security of the nation.

He noted that the activities of the non-state actors, especially insurgents, terrorists, bandits and militants would be drastically diminished or almost non-existent without the collaboration of certain unpatriotic individuals in the society who often engages the media to justify their actions or try to exonerate them from the barbaric acts carried out.

The COAS who was represented at the event by Major General Jamal Abdulsalam, GOC 6 Division, also Commander Land Component, JTF, (South-South), Operation Delta Safe, said based on the urgency to address security challenges necessitated the need to re-strategizing and rejigging of deployed troop to give the desired results, bearing in mind the uniqueness of the various theatres of operations.

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According to him; “In this regard, the unprovoked killing of some of our troops carrying out their constitutional assignments in Okuoma community of Delta state comes to mind. The dastardly act was executed act was executed in the most barbaric and cruel manner which is unacceptable and condemnable”.

“I therefore take this moment to urge the media to refrain from inadvertently amplifying the activities of these undesirable elements. Terrorists, insurgents and other deviant groups thrives on attention and exploit propaganda to instill fear in law abiding citizens”.

“It is only through our collective efforts that we can effectively combat insecurity and restore peace to our country”, he said.

Continuing; “As we gather here today, let us reaffirm our commitment to strengthening the partnership between the Nigerian Army and the Media. Let us recognize that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, our collective security depends on our ability to work together effectively and harmoniously”.

Earlier in his welcome address, Major General Nosakhare Ugbo, Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, highlighted the significance of the quarterly Media Chat in bridging communication gap between media practitioners and military in order to promote cordial working relationship based on mutual trust, respect and understanding of its operations.

“As you may be aware, military-media partnership is a necessity in our increasing complex and interconnected society. Media being a key player in shaping public perception and understanding of security challenges need to embrace responsible journalism, grounded in accuracy and objectivity”, he stated.