Chris Steven, Abuja
The Global Excellence Foundation has commended the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen. TY Buratai for his good working relationship with the media since assuming leadership of the Nigerian Army.
The foundation in a statement by its Country Director, Professor Yemi Ola said under Buratai, both the army and the media have experienced improved relationship as strategic partners in national security.
Ola said despite the recent impasse between the Nigerian Army and online newspaper, Premium Times, the Army under Buratai’s leadership has embraced the media as a critical partner in ending the war against the Boko Haram terrorists and tackling other form of insecurity in the country.
Ola however decried what he described as a section of the online community cashing in on the difference between the Army and Premium Times to insinuate that General Buratai and the Army is at war with the media.
He said this sharply conflicts with the Buratai, who is well known as a celebrated media personality having won the Man of the Year award of more than three online newspapers, saying he therefore cannot be at war with the media or any segment of the industry.
Ola said neither the Army nor the media should be distracted, urging for full focus in the final onslaught against fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.
He said, “Buratai’s strong stance against every act of corruption and his numerous sacrifices for our country where he leads an army that is combating terrorism must have necessitated his legal action against the publication on account of some contents which the Army declared to be against national security and the well being of troops in the theatre of war.”
He however task journalists to continue to maintain high level of professionalism on issues that that relates to national security, saying, “it is erroneous to promote the belief that being a member of the pen profession or bearing arms on behalf of the country confers infallibility on individuals to an extent that they are perceived as incapable of erring or that they do not owe the duty of apologizing owing to the long tradition of solidarity which holds their professions together. “
He said further, “We make this intervention to remind Nigerians that the need for the media and the Army to maintain focus at this stage of the anti-terror war has further increased and distractions such as the current impasse is not in the best interest of the country when the most important thing is how to capture fleeing Boko Haram members.