The newly appointed Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyerr, on Friday, assumed office with a call to the media to support the military to achieve its mandate of defending the country.
Sawyerr took over from Air Commodore Wap Maigida, who had been acting following the appointment of the former Director, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu as Director, Army Public Relations in June.
Sawyerr was the Commandant of the Nigerian Army Armour School Bauchi, before his new appointment.
In his address, he said the new assignment was a clarion call for him to contribute his quota towards the realisation of the leadership focus of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
He said the leadership focus of the CDS was, “To Foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting its constitutional imperatives.”
The spokesperson said the leadership focus was being pursued vigourously in a professional manner, saying it would require the support of the media at all times.
Sawyerr stated that his responsibilities were to project the Nigerian armed forces, galvanise the support of the media and the citizens for all military engagements.
He stated that the military, in synergy with other security agencies, had continued to work round the clock to surmount the nation’s numerous security challenges.
“These ugly developments, which have continued to affect the peaceful co-existence of the citizens of our dear country, would in no distant time be a thing of the past.
“I must, therefore, be quick to say that the media which is commonly referred to as the fourth estate of the realm is a vital component in the entire process.
“Let me, therefore, solicit the support of media operators in all spectrums to consider jettisoning sensational headlines that give undue publicity to perpetrators of acts of criminality that tend to undermine our national security,” he said.
Sawyerr commended the Defence Correspondents for exhibiting a high sense of professionalism in the reportage of the fight against domestic and foreign adversaries over the years.
According to him, it is ethical and patriotic to be objective, fair and balanced in media coverage and reportage.
“I want to also encourage you to maintain these journalistic virtues as you redouble your efforts in supporting the AFN to ensure that the needed peace is restored in all the troubled parts of our dear nation.
“Let me assure you of an open door policy and honest communication parameters that are proactive and responsive.
“It is important that we remain patriotic and responsive by providing credible, timely and actionable information to aid the armed forces and other security agencies in performing their constitutional roles,” he said.
Earlier, the outgoing Acting Director, Maigida, assured the new director of the unalloyed commitment and support of the entire staff of the directorate towards the attainment of set objectives.
Maigida said the media had been a veritable partner in galvanising goodwill and support for the military in the quest of maintaining national security, peaceful and harmonious coexistence among Nigerians.
He urged the defence correspondents to continue to support the new director to succeed in his assignment.
“I would like to express my profound appreciation to officers and men as well as civilian staff for their dedication and commitment during this period.
“I urge you all to extend the same vigour and strength to our incumbent director so as to enable us take the directorate to greater height,” he said. (NAN)
DSS Arrests Kaduna Train Hostages’ Negotiator Mamu
The Department of State Services (DSS) says the Abuja-Kaduna train hostage negotiator, Tukur Mamu, is in its custody.
This is according to a statement released by the DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya on Wednesday following reports that Mamu was arrested in Egypt.
“This is to confirm that Mamu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt on 6th September 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia,” the statement read.
“He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September 2022, and taken into the Service’s custody.
“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s military, law enforcement, and intelligence community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country.
The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course.”
Mamu has made headlines lately for his part in the release of the Kaduna train victims who were abducted on March 28.
But in August, the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper withdrew as the lead negotiator in securing the release of the remaining train attack victims.
He claimed that his life was under threat by the Nigerian government.
Insecurity: Zamfara Restricts Motorcycles, Orders House Search To Flush Out Suspected Terrorists
As part of measures to contain the security challenges in Zamfara, Governor Bello Matawalle has ordered the restriction on motorcycle movement in communities on the outskirt of Gusau from 9 pm till dawn.
The governor gave the directive on Tuesday after an expanded Security Council meeting that lasted for more than eight hours.
In a statewide broadcast after the meeting, Matawalle ordered security operatives to begin a house-to-house search to flush out criminal elements in the 19 emirates of the state as the residents continue to live at the mercy of bandits.
He stated that motorcycle riders who refuse to stop for search and who move after the designated hours should be shot on sight as terrorists and bandits now use a lot of motorcycles.
“This measure is a part of government’s efforts to tackle insecurity in the state, as the government is concerned over the usage of hotels by terrorists and criminals to perpetrate their heinous activities in the state,” the governor said.
The measure, the governor explained, followed reports of the use of motorcycles by bandits and other criminal elements to commit crimes within the state capital and its environs.
He equally ordered hotel operators to scrutinise guests by means of a valid identification before accommodating them.
“Any hotelier found violating the new order will have his hotel shut down and face prosecution according to the law. The state government would not take it lightly with anyone found disturbing the peace and security of the people,” Matawalle said, reiterating the state government’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of the people.
The Council directed security operatives, particularly military and police, to scale up efforts to fight bandits and other criminals in Zamfara.
Police beef up Security Network Around Schools, Hospitals
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate security around schools, hospitals and critical national infrastructures across the country.
Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday said the IGP has also ordered regular patrols, stop and search raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality in some states of the federation.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of water-tight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructures around the country,” the statement added.
“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation.”
Baba gave the directive while reviewing the reports he received from various commands and formations on the general security situations across the country.
He tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritize the use of intelligence gathering networks while charging officers and men of the force to take the fight against crime to the doorsteps of suspected criminal elements with a view to flushing them from their hideouts.
The IGP also called for the cooperation of members of the public, warning police officers to be civil, professional, and humane in the course of discharging their duties.
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