BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibrahim Dewu, has lauded the contributions of media practitioners in the country towards national security and social cohesion.
Rear Admiral Dewu made the remarks while receiving in audience the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River State Council, at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters in Calabar.
According to him, “the modern day activities of the military would not be complete without the effective involvement of the press. We really need you to be our partners in progress.”
He asserted that the Eastern Naval Command and the Nigerian Navy have done a lot in the fight against crime and criminality in the country, especially in Nigeria’s maritime domains, noting that “there the need for partnership with the media. It is journalists on ground that would corroborate the Navy’s dogged efforts in ensuring security in the country”.
“Appreciating the media for its immense contributions towards national security through timely, accurate, and factual reportage, the FOC assured that, that with this visit, the Navy’s sea trips with journalists, and media parleys are hereby restored.”
“I am an advocate of live reporting. I cannot achieve that without carrying out operations in company of pressmen. They are the ones who have the expertise to report activities on-the-spot. Henceforth, we are going to be carrying out activities with journalists on ground, Rear Admiral Dewu remarked”.
In the era where social media have become mercenaries for misinformation and falsehood, the FOC implored media professionals to assert themselves as harbingers of truth and factual information, saying “in this period when concerted efforts are made to exterminate piracy, oil theft, kidnapping wand other forms of crime, the media must rise up to the occasion by bringing its investigative prowess to bare, as well as carrying out its statutory duty with utmost professionalism.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Cross River State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Nsa Gill stated that his team’s visit was to introduce his team members and further reinforce the cordial working relationship with the Command.
The NUJ Chairman who took the Eastern Naval Command boss on the operational modalities of his Union, ranging from the chapels, to the State Councils and the national composition, also re-echoed the high premium the body places on members’ welfare, ethical reorientation and professional conduct.
Comrade Gill enjoined the Navy official and other Nigerians to continue to depend on the traditional Media’s efficacy in agenda setting and bridging information gaps, in spite of the capricious tendencies of the internet and social media.
He stressed on the importance of a Navy-Media partnership. We want to strengthen our relationship with the Navy where media stakeholders join personnel on sea tours and other engagements.”
“The Nigerian Navy has been a dependable ally of the NUJ in Cross River State. As a leadership, we wish to honour organizations that have contributed towards engendering growth and development in the society. And the Navy is one of such bodies.
“We wish to formally inform you that NUJ will be honouring this Command for its laudable contributions to security and infrastructural development in the State,” Comrade Gill informed.
He sought the assistance of the Command ahead of its forthcoming South-South zonal meeting, while hoping for a stronger bond between the two bodies.
The chairman and his executives were accompanied on the visit by other senior members of the Union, with the FOC’s presentation of a honorary plaque to the NUJ chairman.