DHQ seeks collaboration with NAN on military campaigns are

Sumaila Ogbaje

The Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, has solicited for collaboration of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with the military in an effort to keep Nigeria safe and secure.

Akpor made the call when he led officers of the Directorate of Defence Information on a courtesy call on the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, on Tuesday, in Abuja.

He said that going by the mandate of NAN and the military, both shared the responsibility of protecting the nation.

According to him, while the military protects the territorial integrity of the nation, NAN protects its soul by ensuring the unity of Nigeria.

“From your reach and spread, you have been able to bring news from the most remote corners of the country.

“Therefore, every media organisation depend on you for news. So, you are doing a very great job and we are also happy with the degree of collaboration with the armed forces of Nigeria.

“From the mandate, you also have to manage the image of the country and so we are almost doing the same thing.

“While we are mandated to keep the borders safe which is the territorial integrity of the country and to maintain the physical space, you have the sacred role to manage the soul of the country.

“So, while ours is kinetic, yours is mostly non-kinetic and there are so many things that kinetic cannot destroy. What is sown in the mind cannot be destroyed by kinetics, but by non-kinetics.

“I am here to seek your support in furtherance of the Chief of Defence Staff’s focus for the armed forces of Nigeria, which is to foster a professional armed forces of Nigeria capable of effectively meeting its constitutional imperatives.

“In doing that, yours is syndicating news and we continue to plead your support to nurture and foster our own image as you syndicate news all over the country.

“The main objective of my visit to you is to leverage on the support and collaboration that had endured between the armed forces of Nigeria and NAN,” he said.

Responding, the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, said that the agency had been supporting the military in all its operations across the country through objective and accurate reportage.

Ponle said that NAN had been known for its credibility since inception, adding that the agency could not afford to make mistakes in the news content it churned out to subscribers.

“We ensure that whatever comes out of NAN is credible and authoritative, because we cannot afford to make mistakes.

“Mistake made by a newspaper is just from that news newspaper or radio house or a television house, but when NAN makes mistakes, it is all over the world.

“So, we cannot afford to make mistakes because when we make certain mistakes, our clients or subscribers repeat such mistakes.

“We try as much as possible to minimize such mistakes to the barest minimum,” he said.

Ponle said that the agency had continued to improve, adding that it also ensured that reporters got training inside and outside the walls of NAN, assuring that the agency remained a practitioner of journalism at its best.

According to him, we pride ourselves in positive reportage here, we pride ourselves in solutions journalism, here we take the country first and foremost.

He appealed to journalists to ensure that they take the interests of the country foremost, adding that the soldiers that were sent to war to fight did not go there to fight for themselves.

“There is nothing more we can do, other than ensuring that our country is one and indivisible country.

“We don’t have any other country just like what our president has said,” added. (NAN)

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