Enhanced National security through efficient and effective reportage

Nigeria Army caution media practitioners


The Nigeria Army Tuesday, held its 33rd social media seminar in Aba to enhance civil-military relationship through the sensitization of social media influencers, bloggers, media practitioners, and the general public in the state.

The seminar, with the theme, “Enhancing National Security Through The Responsible Use Of Social Media”, the military said, intends to use the forum to curtail negative content on the social media as well as the effects of fake news on social media on national security

This is one amongst others outlined by the leadership of Nigerian Army ,COAS Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja that is unique and central to the administration as the media practitioners are being persuaded to imbibe the spirit of national development in every of their reportage

In his speech, the Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Major General N. C. Ugbo said the seminar “provides an opportunity for social media influencers, bloggers, media practitioners, and the general public to gather and to engage freely with the Army”.

Represented by Brig. Gen. Bola Stephen Keji, Brig. Gen. Ugbo said “In this engagement, it is envisaged that we will forge pathways toward a harmonious coexistence, recognizing that the digital footprints of our citizens can either fortify or undermine our quest for peace and the safeguarding of Nigeria’s national interest.

“The Nigerian Army seeks to empower social media users especially our resilient youths across the expanse of our nation on the responsible use of their platforms.Thus, the event presents a vital opportunity for interaction, idea-sharing, and intellectual exchange.

“Our collective mission is to combat the pernicious influence of fake news, hate speeches, and divisive content propagated through technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, voice modulation, and video editing, among others.

“The undeniable truth is that our words, tone, and propagation across the social media reverberate far beyond the digital realm, significantly impacting Nigeria’s security landscape. Thus, we must acknowledge that social media is pivotal in fostering peace and shaping public opinion and perception”.

The Seminar, he said will equally highlight the various non-kinetic activities undertaken by the Nigerian Army, both within the state and across the operational theatres, stating, “It is noteworthy that the Civil-Military cooperation activities and quick impact Projects executed by the Nigerian Army within the state and across the country are aimed at enhancing the relationship between the Nigerian Army and the civilian population, which is vital for fulfilling our operational objectives.

“The result of these efforts is a fortified civil-military relationship, built on mutual trust and improved cooperation while ensuring national security. Accordingly, this Nigerian Army Social Media Seminar is a key part of our outreach and engagement strategy to inform and educate the public about the Nigerian Army’s efforts to maintain peace and security in our nation”.

The Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Ugbo said also holds media discussions and human rights seminars for journalists and advocates, as well as sensitization workshops for its personnel to ensure compliance with both domestic and international norms, adding, “These initiatives are in line with the Nigerian Army’s principle of shared responsibility for national security, highlighting the need for public support to ensure safety and security in our dear country.

“These initiatives are also in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s Command Philosophy to transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.

“The Nigerian Army is committed to providing security in support of civil authority and safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity. Thus, the collective effort towards a peaceful and secure Nigeria, where socio-economic progress can flourish, is a shared goal”.

In his speech, the General Officer Commander, GOC 82 Division Enugu, Major General Hassan Taiwo Dada said the choice of Aba for the seminar was the abundance of productive youths in the area stating the obvious need for good use of the social media in order not to heat up the polity or invite chaos, stating “the next warfare is Information Warfare”.

In her presentation, “Curtailing Negative Content on Social Media: Responsibilities of Users”, a Behavioural Change and Public Health Communication Consultant and Executive Director, Steady Home Support Initiative, Dr. Ehiz Odigie noted that millions of emergency bloggers now pose as journalists, warning however that these people must not spread fears or panic that will heat up the polity, adding. “there is the good, the bad, the ugly in the internet”.

In a second presentation titled, “Fake News on Social Media and its Effects on National Security, Prof. Joshua Uzoma Ogbonna of the Geography Department of Abia State University Uturu, ABSU noted that Nigeria youths are distracted, even with their sleep and as well exposed to online bullying and called for fact checking on online information, as fake news have negative impacts on national security..