The National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, has urged spokespersons of security and emergency response agencies in Nigeria to cultivate and sustain mutual relationship with media practitioners towards effective information management.
Dasuki made the call weekend at the inauguration of the Forum of Spokespersons in Security and Response Agencies, FOSSAR, in Abuja.
He said accurate and responsible public information is vital to the war against terror and would aid better understanding on the current challenges in fighting crime in the country.
“The next stage of war on terror should include advocacy and media engagement through accurate, timely and responsible information to dissuade our people from criminal activities as well as to silent the propaganda tools of terrorists,” he said.
The NSA who was represented by the director special duties, Bello Fadile, also a retired colonel, stressed that “with various forms and channels of communication, security managers and their information personnel must proactively and timely address and respond to issues in curtailing rumour mongering and mischiefs.”
He also urged the media to be wary of politicians who may be playing politics with actions that may be detrimental to national security and national interest for selfish ambitions.
“The media should continue to rise above primordial feeling and partisanship to boost the morale of the military and other security agencies in their statutory mandates of protecting lives and properties,” the security adviser said.
Responding, chairman of the FOSSAR, who is also the director defence information, Chris Olukolade, a major-general, explained that the establishment of the forum was one of the outcomes of an Interactive security-media parley which was held by the office of the National Security Adviser in November 2013.
He said the forum will ensure professionalism and patrotic commitment to information dissemination as regard security issues in the country and partner with the media towards national development by working in harmony in the defence and protection of Nigeria’s image.
According to him, the forum would not only improve harmonious working relationship among major security agencies in information management but will also proffer strategies for public enlightment campaigns to dissuade citizens from criminal and terrorist activities.
Members of the forum include spokespersons from various security and response agencies including Army, Navy , Airforce, Police, Nigerian Civil Defense Corps, Fire Service, State Security Service, SSS, National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Customs among others.