The General Officer Commanding 81 Division (GOC), Nigerian Army, Major General Obinna Ajunwa, has warned against devaluing the military, saying that such action has a chain reaction, as it reverberates on the collective existence of the people, and affects what the country holds dear in terms of internal unity, national cohesion, and international recognition.
Gen Ajunwa spoke on Monday while playing host to a cross-section of the Executive members of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) at the Conference Room of the Division.
He noted that the army is the face of the nation, and by no means or circumstance should it be rubbished, because an attack on the military through false reports is an attack on the very essence of the people and the nation itself.
“The Military is the face of the nation. If we rubbish it we are rubbishing our face. The Army belongs to us as Nigerians. In Nigerian society, and even elsewhere, the strength of the people is the military. And when the top is dropped, it will definitely affect the other component parts.
He maintained that the military will continue to strive to keep the peace and security of the nation while calling on the citizenry, especially the press to assist in the patriotic act through verified publications, and most importantly, publications that have national security and interest as consideration.
“False reports devalue the military, Nigeria, and the people. Once you devalue the military, every other person in the nation is devalued. Always endeavour to report correctly and avoid false information as it could destroy the nation and paint it in a bad light, thereby giving a signal of negativity.
“We must understand that when a country’s military is tainted with negativity, it spiraled on other aspects of that country’s endeavours. That is why the military is the face of the nation, and must not be devalued,” Ajunwa said.
Earlier, the leader of the NAOSNP delegation and President of the Association, Mr. Samson Oki, briefed the GOC and his principal officers on the need for the division to synergise with the Association to curb the initiation and spread of fake news, which is detrimental to the psyche and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
“It is our intention to cooperate with the military, and the army in particular to further engender military/media relationships to continue to fight the war against fake news, which is capable of causing mayhem, for the good of the people.
“Our Association is known for discipline, professionalism, and dedication to the Nigerian project, and in the best position to understand that national interest supersedes parochial or personal interest, and that is what we have sworn to uphold,” Oki said.
In his vote of thanks, the Public Relations Officer of NAOSNP, Mr. Eric Elezuo, appreciated the Nigeria Army for the job well done, which have remained their hallmark in recent times, and the GOC 81 Division, Gen Ajunwa, who has been exemplary since he assumed office in August 2022.
“While partnering with you in this task of nation-building and defence, we must acknowledge your success stories in the field and with the civil populace. The army has distinguished itself and remained above board. We also acknowledge the giant strides Major General Ajunwa has taken since he assumed duties about three months ago. We are not oblivious of these milestones, and ask that they be sustained,” Elezuo.
In attendance at the meeting were the Commander, 81 Division Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier General Kingsley Nwoko; Commander, 81 Div Provost Group, Brigadier General Lawal Abubakar; Commander, 55 Signal Brigade, Brigadier General EO Oshunsan; Chief of Staff HQ 81 Division, Brigadier General MB Wabili and Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Colonel JK Maigari.
Other members of the NAOSNP were Miss Eberechi Obinagwam, Mr. Kazeem Bakene, Mr. Friday Etim and Mr. Femi Arikawe.