The Nigerian Army has warned citizens to be security conscious and extra vigilant as the Christmas and New Year celebrations approaches.
The warning was from the Director of the Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, who made the call at the Inaugural Annual Lecture of Class 1992 Alumni of Mass Communication Department of Bayero University Kano (BUK) this weekend.
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Usman made the remarks while delivering a paper titled “Crisis Communication for security Consciousness- A Case Study of Nigeria.”
Usman encouraged Nigerians not to rely only on security agencies for protection but should play their own role by being security conscious and provide useful information to the authorities.
He said: “With the kind of intelligence we receive regularly from the military and security operatives, the citizens need to be proactive and security conscious while the media intensify campaign on same.
“Internal security challenge is not a problem unique to Nigeria. The US, UK, France and many other countries, face similar challenges within their borders on daily basis. The difference between these countries and ours is the management of threats by the government and the citizenry, how knowledgeable they are, how patriotic and united their citizens are against threats of insecurity and crisis.
“The countries are never divided on political, ethical, religion or professional ground when the interest of the nation is the subject. These cushion the effects of these crises on their national security and image. The fact therefore is that if Nigerians hope to build a nation of good brand, they have to work for it. It is at a time like this that all patriots must rise to the occasion and place the interest of the country above every other consideration.
“The media need to mobilize people during crisis as a cardinal element of national security effort. They have a duty to enlighten the public on the true situation in national war effort to guarantee national security. The report must focus on national unifying factors, emphasising the desired end state of the Armed Forces, which is to safeguard public good.
“In the on-going war on terror for example, the media must focus on atrocities of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT), the monumental humanitarian crisis and promote efforts of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in bringing the carnage to an end. This outweighs narrow compulsions of local and international media houses and individual reporters.”
Usman, a colonel and alumni of the BUK mass communication department, commended the organisers of the lecture, while praising the school for being crisis-free and cult-free.
It was reported about a week ago that Benin authorities invaded the border town of Okuta in Baruten local government area of the state leading to people fleeing from the neighbourhood.