Posted by News Express | 21 January 2022 | 401 times
By KINGSLEY OMONOBI, Abuja
Nigeria’s Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer has been appointed as the Force Commander of the United Nation’s Interim Military Security Mission in Abiyei, South Sudan.
Gen Sawyer’s appointment was confirmed by Air Commodore WM Maigida, the immediate past Acting Director of Defence Information while handing over to Major General Jimmy Akpor who on Friday took over as the new Director of Defence Information.
Meanwhile, Air Commodore Maigida has been appointed as the Commander 551 NAF Station, Jos, Plateau State.
Speaking during the handing and taking over ceremony at DHQ, the new DDI, Major Gen Akpor urged Suffice to always remember to play the vital role of advancing the course of national security while performing its watchdog functions.
He said, “Just as the media is essential for informing the public about military operations, the media also largely depends on the military to fulfil its mandate.
“Bearing in mind that National Security encompasses the ability of our nation to protect its citizens, economy and other institutions, the Military with other security agencies, have been in the forefront of maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation as well as facilitating economic, political and energy security, amongst other aspects of national security.
He emphasized that the media plays an important role in “one of the Components of Fighting Power, the Morale Component, which enables personnel to fight efficiently, braving all difficulties while carrying out their constitutional roles”.
He continued, ,”The Press, Our Press, must therefore do its own part (as you have always done), in sustaining the morale of the citizenry and especially the morale of the military, along with other security agencies, as it deals with the contemporary security challenges that bedevil the nation.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has always espoused, ‘Whole of Society Approach’ in dealing with national security issues thus, fostering the morale of the fighting troops, the morale of the military, would remain your critical contribution to national security as members of the Press.
While commending the Defence Correspondents for demonstrating a high sense of professionalism in the coverage and reportage of defence and security matters, the DDI said, “I earnestly urge you to continue to remain patriotic while observing the ethical journalistic norms of objectivity, fairness and balance in reporting defence-related issues, as we work together to build the Nigeria of our dream.
He commended the outgoing Acting Director Defence Information, Air Commodore WM Maigida for effectively steering the affairs of the Directorate of Defence Information adding, “As the new image-maker and mouthpiece of the Nigerian Military, I have been bestowed with the responsibility of projecting the image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and its overall engagements with all other segments of the society.
“This would be in furtherance of the leading focus of the Chief of Defence Staff for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which is ‘To foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting Constitutional imperatives’.
“Accordingly, I intend to progressively sustain and strengthen the existing media/military cooperation aimed at building a more peaceful and progressive nation.
“I will like to most respectfully appreciate the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor (Nigerian Army Medal) and the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya (Nigerian Army Medal) for the honour and privilege gave me to serve as the Spokesman of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. This appointment is indeed a great recognition and a call to duty, which I will not take for granted.
Earlier, Air Commodore WM Maigida thanked “the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor for his unflinching support and encouragement throughout the period that I acted as the Spokesman of the Armed Forces of Nigeria”.
‘My profound gratitude goes to our numerous stakeholders in the media and public relations circle. This includes Media Executives, fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and our esteemed Defence Correspondents for their invaluable support and collaboration in projecting the defence capabilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards surmounting every form of aggression against our dear Nation.
“It is no doubt that the media has and will continue to play a huge role in nation-building. Accordingly, it is gratifying to note that under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria effectively harnessed the support and goodwill of the general public via the mainstream and social media platforms to achieve various successes in our military engagements.
“Notable among the achievements recorded during my short tenure as Acting Director of Defence Information was the production of the first-ever video documentary christened “Armed Forces of Nigeria: The Bastion of Nigeria’s Unity and Sovereignty” in commemoration of the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day as well as the successful hosting of 2 workshops for Public Relations and Information Officers of the Armed Forces and Defence Correspondents.
“Another achievement worthy of mention is the acquisition of modern media equipment through the gracious support of the Chief of Defence Staff. This has improved the Directorate’s capability to cover and publicize Defence Headquarters activities as well as improve the quality of production of the Defence magazine and Defence Headquarters souvenirs.” (Vanguard)
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