The Nigerian Airforce has reiterated the importance of the media as partner in tackling various security challenges confronting the nation saying its reportage of NAF’s activities is a means through which the force is accountable to Nigerians.
Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshall I.J Yahaya who made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, stated that Information in today’s world is critical to world development.
Speaking at a Workshop organized for Defence Correspondents on Air Power by the NAF, the COA assured the media of a continuous and healthy relationship between the press and the Nigerian Air Force.
He also stated that the workshop was organized by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar to help improve the relationship and understanding between the media and the Nigerian Air Force.
He said, the major aim of the workshop is to “help the press in carrying out their responsibility of informing the public of the military’s daily activities”.
In his welcome address, the Director of NAF Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya spoke delved deeper into the relationship between Military-Media Relations.
He pointed out that the Public Relations department of the Nigerian Air Force is tailored towards the belief that the Nigerian Air Force belongs to Nigerians and should be accountable to Nigerians.
“This accountability could only be possible if Nigerians are given a window to follow up with the daily activities of Nigerian Air Force activities and to get their approval,” he said.
Adesanya pointed out that the media has various important roles to play in the face of the security challenges facing the country noting that one of these roles is moralizing the military.
“The media should know it has an obligation to encourage and boost the morale of the military,” he said.
He noted that the media should show more of the progress the Air Force is making instead of dwelling more of the problems at hand.
He also asked that clips and pictures made by the military showing their progress should be used in articles as this would put fear in the hearts of the opponents while encouraging the media.
He added that the media should ensure that the Air Force verifies facts before it is being posted in order to avoid posting fake stories insisting that “The media has the responsibility to tell the truth.”
AVM Adesanya added that the importance of the workshop was to enlighten the media so that the media could report with technical knowledge of the military.
He encouraged the public to keep giving their opinions and feedbacks on the activities of the Air Force through the media as it helps in the decision making of the Air Force.
The lecture which was attended by Senior Officers, Officers, the members of the press and Airmen consisted of five sections.
Other speakers at the sections included the Director of the Administration, Group Captain Earnest Bassey, the Assistant Director of Coordination, Squadron Leader C.N Okorie, Doctorate of Air Engineering, Squadron Leader F.D Stephen of Air Engineering department, Wing Commander D.K Bazo of armament wing.
During the workshop, the members of the press were given in-depth knowledge on topics such as the Nigerian Air Force Hierarchy and Rank Structure, the Characteristics and Limitations of Air Power, the Aircraft Types in NAF Inventory and Roles, the Armaments on NAF Aircraft and Military-Media Relations.
“The press should report the Air Force Issues more tactically.” Group Captain Earnest Bassey stated in the course of the workshop.