By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
Theatre Command, North East, Operation Hadin Kai, (OPHK) has organized a one day training workshop for journalists and military personnel on media engagement and national interest.
Declaring the workshop open on Thursday at the NUJ Press Center Maiduguri, The Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), North East, Operation Hadin Kai, (OPHK), Major General Gold Chibuisi, said:
“The workshop aims to bridge any gap between the military, and more specifically Operation HADIN KAI and the media, by providing a platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences and insights, to ensure information is disseminated in a responsible manner that upholds national interest”.
“Having gone through the topics selected and the caliber of resource persons invited for this Workshop, there is no doubt that the aim of the workshop will be achieved.
Maj. Gen. Chibuisi, urged each participant to contribute aptly during discussions and utilise this opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and challenges.
According to him, the topic, “the Military Combat, Media and National Interest,” has indeed been aptly coined and scheduled at the time, the media has evolved significantly in shaping public opinion and providing the citizens with accurate and timely information.
“The military, on the other hand, is entrusted with contributing to safeguarding the nation’s security and protecting its interests. Thus, it is important that we understand and appreciate the relationship that exists between the media and the military.
” You are aware that the current operations in the North East have contributed to improving security in the region. We have also witnessed the mass surrendering of insurgents despite some, still holding out. The Operation remains resolved to sustaining kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to engender more surrenders while decimating recalcitrant terrorists. I therefore see the media as veritable partners in this noble endeavour, ” Gen. Chibuisi said.
He also thanked the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen CG Musa and the Service Chiefs for their continuous strategic guidance while recognising the efforts and support of State governments in their areas of Operations, namely – Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States (BAY ).
The Theater Commander also appreciated all the participants for honouring the invitation to participate in the Workshop, and the Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress Centre, for initiating and organizing the important training workshop while wishing the participants fruitful interactions and declaring open the one day workshop for the military and journalists in Borno State
The Lead Consultant of the organizers of the training workshop, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Professor Nuhu Gapsiso who is also a senior lecturer with the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri, in his welcome address said the theme of the training workshop was aptly chosen at “this particular time based on the situation in our nation, particularly in the context of military combat, media engagement, and national interest, which demands urgent attention and concerted efforts”.
He added that it was also aimed at fostering a better understanding and synergy between the military and the media, ensuring that both entities work cohesively towards advancing our national interest.
“The media plays a pivotal role in shaping public perceptions, disseminating accurate information, and ensuring that the voice of the people are heard. Simultaneously, the military shoulders the crucial responsibility of maintaining peace, security, and safeguarding our national interests.
“However, we often witness instances where misunderstandings arise between these two key stakeholders, leading to misinterpretation, misinformation, and a gap in understanding.
“We believe that the time has come for the military and the media to forge stronger bonds, enhance mutual understanding, and establish an effective communication framework.
“” By doing so, we can bridge the gap between perception and reality, eradicate any misconceptions, and work together in the pursuit of our collective national interest The present workshop has been meticulously designed in collaboration with Operation Hadin Kai Joint Task, BOCODEP, and other relevant stakeholders.
“Throughout these deliberations, we will engage in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas, and address critical issues that pertain to military combat, media engagement, and our national interests. Emphasizing the importance of ethical reporting, accurate information dissemination, and responsible journalism will be central to our discourse, ” Gapsiso said.
About 6 papers were presented by Professor Abubakar Muazu, a Director Peace Studies Center and senior lecturer with the Mass Communication Department in the University of Maiduguri, Professor Wilson Joseph of the Department of Mass Communication, Professor Nuhu Gapsiso, Dr. Dauda Sharafa and Dr. Musa Usman as well as Brig. Gen. Aminu Iliyasu (rtd).
Highlights of the training workshop include – presentation of certificates of attendance to the participants, group photographs, discussions, among others.