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)
ARMY’S DEDICATION HAS RAISED CITIZENS’ CONFIDENCE’ — SANWO-OLU TELLS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF
•COAS in Lagos to launch new security operations
•Governor seeks military cooperation on traffic, environmental enforcements
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has hailed the Nigerian Army for committing to the rules of engagement and professionalism in its peace mission across the country.
The Governor said the Army had continued to live up to the expectations of their roles as provided by the constitution, stressing that the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of the country would not go unappreciated.
Sanwo-Olu spoke when he received the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, at Lagos House in Marina, on Monday, in a courtesy visit.
Lagbaja was in Lagos for the clearance of Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) at the 9 Brigade Military Cantonment, Ikeja.
The Army, the Governor said, has earned the citizens’ confidence and respect as a member of the nation’s armed forces, given its sense of commitment, dedication and patriotism.
Sanwo-Olu said: “We are grateful to the Army and its men for their dedication to the country at this difficult time in different parts of the country. You have continued to uphold the constitution, maintain high integrity and stick to the best rules of engagement to protect the sovereignty of our country.
The Army is well respected by the citizens, given the commitment, dedication and sense of patriotism in discharging its statutory roles.
“The 2002 Ikeja bomb explosion was a trying moment for the Army, given the magnitude of the damage. But the event never weakened the resolve of the military. The Army has continued to live up to their responsibilities provided by the constitution and the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of our country would not go unappreciated. Lagos State Government is committed to ensuring that the Army gets all the necessary support for your security operations.”
The Governor assured the Army boss that the State Government would rebuild a military primary school in Orile demolished for the construction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway. He sought for the cooperation of the military personnel in restoring sanity back to the Lagos-Badagry corridor, where the State Government has been clearing illegal shanties built along the expressway.
Sanwo-Olu also appealed for cooperation among military personnel in the ongoing enforcement across Lagos, including Okada ban enforcement. He noted that the ongoing enforcements were geared towards bringing sanity back to the State and preserving public assets.
The Governor said: “We have collective responsibility to keep Lagos safe for commercial activities. It is important to acknowledge the complementary effort of the 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in supporting our security architecture in Lagos, with OP Mesa operatives working with the police to ensure our safety.
That synergy among all security agencies is all that is required to maintain security.”
Lagbaja used the occasion to express his appreciation for the “tremendous support” the people and State Government accorded to the Army units and formations.
The Army boss acknowledged the infrastructure renewal programme of the Lagos Government, stressing that improved infrastructure would go a long way in helping the military respond rapidly to security situations requiring quick interventions.
He said military personnel will be major beneficiaries of the Lagos’ Blue and Red Line rail projects, as the trains would aid personnel’s commuting.
Lagbaja said his visit was to inform the Governor about the Army’s activities to be conducted in Lagos, noting that the exercises were designed to further entrench the peace and stability we have enjoyed in Lagos.
He said: “The Nigerian Army has put together a ceremony to remove unexploded ordnances at the site of the 2002 Bomb Explosion in Ikeja cantonment. The objective is to make the area safe and securely remove unexploded ordnances to a safe location in Ajilete area of Ogun State.
“We are ushering in the last three months of the year where citizens travel across the country for festivities. We need to provide safe and secure passage for the people travelling. We have put together three security exercises to prevent any form of breaches and these will be flagged off on Tuesday in Lagos.”
NAF Airstrike Kills 8 Terrorists In Borno
Airstrike undertaken by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai has killed eight terrorists in Borno State, North-East Nigeria.
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft was on armed reconnaissance mission on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 when it took out a guntruck with about eight terrorists at Baranga village in Marte local government area of the State.
He said the strike was carried out when two armed terrorists on a motorcycle along an active track were sighted and trailed to the location.
He said the terrorists after sighting the aircraft, took cover under a thick vegetation.
“Upon engaging the vegetation cover, a gun truck with eight terrorists suddenly appeared, speeding off to evade the attack.
“Subsequently, the gun truck was engaged and destroyed, thus eliminating the terrorists,” he said.
The statement reiterated that remnants of terrorists in the North-East have continued to seek the covers of thick forests and vegetation to evade being detected by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies.
He said the strike was yet again a clear indication of the commitment of the AFN towards ensuring terrorists find it difficult to randomly roam about freely attacking law-abiding Nigerians.
Police kill 3 IPOB Members, Recover Arms In Enugu
The operatives of the Enugu State Police Command have neutralised three members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) in their hideouts in Ezioha Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The police officers also recovered three pump-action guns, 10 machetes, and other incriminating exhibits.
The command’s spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, who made the disclosure via a statement, said the gunmen were killed at about 2:15 a.m. on Monday, September 18, 2023.
Ndukwe stated: “A joint security team, comprising police operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, busted the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements.
“The criminal elements were already perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the state.
“Three of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralised, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight.
“There has been an intense manhunt for those on the run.”
He quoted the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu, as commending the joint team, assuring the security and safety of citizens and urging them to go about their lawful businesses in the state.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the police and other security forces to sustain the onslaught against unrepentant violent criminals operating under any guise, urging the people of Enugu State to report individuals sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest police station.
“The good people of Enugu State should remain law-abiding and continue to provide the police with actionable security information and intelligence,” Uzuegbu said.
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