Media Should Starve Terrorists of Publicity – Col Nwachukwu, New Defence Spokesperson

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY MIKE SMITH Joint Military Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu speaks on illegal oil refineries and miltary operations to dislodge oil thieves in Bayelsa State of Niger Delta on April 9, 2013. Shell Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) had threatened to shut down production in April for nine days in the entire Nembe Trunk Line to remove a number of bunkering points on pipelines vandalised by oil thieves in the region. Since 2009, SPDC has experienced an upsurge in vandalisation of pipeline network by criminals causing severe environmental devastation and forcing the company to lose 60,000 barrels daily this year. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

The new Spokesperson of Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Colonel Nwachukwu Onyema has disclosed that terrorists survive on the oxygen of media publicity.

According to him, acts of insurgency continue to defy every possible solution because the publicity in the media seems to be the oxygen which gives life to terrorism.

Colonel Nwachukwu spoke during his inauguration as the new acting Director Defence Information (DDI) at the Defence Headquarters’ Conference Room.

He said terrorism is a societal ill and an aberration that is threatening Nigeria’s collective peace, unity and national development, hence must not be allowed to thrive.

He observed that contemporary security challenges have orchestrated a paradigm shift from the traditional interstate warfare between nation states to intra state conflicts.

Col. Nwachuckwu, then said that, such a situation engenders a plethora of security challenges ranging from terrorism, militancy, banditry and other sundry crimes.

“These developments have been most times, overwhelming for the paramilitary agencies, thereby occasioning the invitation of the military to act in aid of civil authority to restore law and order and ensure peace and stability.

“Therefore, in addition to the defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is engrossed in containing security challenges that are of internal disposition,” he said.

He called on respective reputable media to support and appreciate the AFN for its commitment and steadfastness in ensuring national security.

He appreciated members of the press, for being very professional in the military’s quest to fight terrorism, insurgency and other criminal elements for the enthronement of peace and national security.

His words: “It is therefore pertinent, to work hands in glove to deny our common adversary the oxygen of publicity and crush the grandiose ego of terrorism.”

The newly-inaugurated Defence image maker also enjoined the press to encourage the general public to equally support the military, saying that “it will go a long way to motivate and shore up their morale as they carry out the herculean task of defending the nation.”

He pledged to contribute his quota, as an information and reputation manager, to the actualization of the vision of the Chief of Defence Staff, which is to “ensure a well-motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is responsive to national security commitment”.

In a remark before handing-over, the outgone DDI, Brig. Gen. John Agwim, said he was fulfilled not only for acquiring the highest level of educational qualifications and also becoming a fellow of the highly esteemed Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), but also, to have risen to the peak by serving as the spokesman for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The former Defence spokesperson maintained that the task of managing the image and reputation of the Armed Forces is very important but quite challenging, saying: “This is because the activities and nature of military operations are one that has far-reaching implications for the nation and its citizens.”

The highpoint of the colorful ceremony was the signing of the handing-over note, and flag to the new DDI by Brig. Gen. Agim.

The NIPR President, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo was among eminent dignitaries at the event.

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