Akpor takes over as defence spokesperson, charges media on national security

The new Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj.-Gen Ohwonigho Jimmy Akpor, has urged the media to complement the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies in ensuring national security.

Maj-Gen Akpor stated this Friday when he took over from the acting DDI Air Commodore Wap Maigida.

Akpor acknowledged the media as the watchdog of the society and a vital component in advancing the course of national security.

He urged the media particularly, defence correspondents to remain patriotic, objective and fair in their coverage and reportage of defence and security matters.

According to him, the press must help in sustaining the morale of the military and security agencies towards dealing with the contemporary security challenges.

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 emphasised 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.”

Earlier, Air Commodore Maigida thanked defence correspondent and other media stakeholders for their support during his short stint as acting DDI.

He said: “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.

Maj.-Gen Akpor is a member of 39 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps as a Second Lieutenant in September 1992.