Friend or Foe? The Nigerian Army Sits Down with Social Media Influencers in Awka
On March the 10th, 2022 at the prestigious Hilton Leisure Hotel & Resort, the Nigerian Army in collaboration with Security Affairs Ltd, had a sit-down with Social Media Influencers, Bloggers, and Journalists in the city of Awka in Anambra state. The event was the 18th edition of the annual seminar tagged Social Media Influencers Seminar on Civil-Military Relations.
The Social Media Influencers Seminar on Civil-Military Relations was conceptualized and put into motion in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in the year 2018. Ever since its inception, the seminar has taken place in 17 cities (Maiduguri, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Jos, Akure, Asaba, etc) in total. The last one was held in Yola on January the 25th, and yesterday was the turn of the good people of Awka.
The 18th Social Media Influencers Seminar on Civil-Military Relations
With the theme being “IMPERATIVES OF NON-KINETIC LINE OF OPERATION: CRITICAL ROLES OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA,” the 18th Civil-Military seminar analyzed the roles of the Social Media towards the elimination of fake news & propaganda, and its partnership with the Nigerian Armed forces to bolster the morale of the Nigerian military and dishearten the criminals who use social media as a tool of psychological warfare.
The event was spearheaded by the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major General MG Kangye.
He spoke about the importance of the general public being a part of the nation’s safety by working hand-in-hand, or in this case, fingers-to-screens to create continuous and harmonious Civil-Military relations. He enlightened the participants on the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Affairs’ avenues to share their good works and projects for the common folks, stating that they believe in impacting positively to the civilians, knowing they are a part of us.
Several news houses, journalists, bloggers, social media influencers, local leaders, teachers, students, and top officials from other sister security agencies were in attendance as he emphasized the impact of security operations across the country and so many achievements of the Nigerian Army toward maintaining peace and harmony in the country.
Furthermore, General Kangye beseeched the social media influencers, bloggers/online journalists to be a part of the fight against media lashes and purported stories by desensitizing the general populace on the dangers of misinformation/fake news for the paramount security of our nation Nigeria. He went on to note that the seminar was indeed a necessity owing to the fact that the majority of the Nigerian people rely on social media platforms as their sources of information. Also, that is it very important that social media influencers, bloggers, etc should fact-check every information at their disposal before sharing it on their various platforms.
After his speech, there was a tea break and a group photo session after which Brigadier-General SK Usman (RTD), who is the Consultant-Director, Corporate Affairs and Information at the Nigerian Army Resource Center in Abuja, kicked off the first lecture for the day, titled
“EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA CONSPIRACY THEORIES, PROPAGANDA & FAKE NEWS ON MILITARY OPERATIONS: ASYMMETRIC WARFARE IN PERSPECTIVE.”
The takeaway from the lecture was the power of the media, especially social media, and how unchecked information can mar the Military and its efforts instead of assisting in its operations. He said it is necessary for social media influencers, bloggers, and online journalists to get their stories straight – crosscheck Infos, verify facts, and authenticate stories in order to help in maintaining law and order. He went further to talk about the civil-military hotlines and media of online contact, encouraging the participants to use those channels to report insubordination and crimes, stating that
“if you don’t tell your stories, no one will know.”
He then suggested that the way forward in achieving a harmonious and secure nation is a better Civil-Military Relationship.
Immediately after his lecture, a short Q&A session commenced, wherein Mr. Chukwudi Chukwuenyem of RADIO NIGERIA asked
“isn’t the use of propaganda by the Nigerian Army a negative factor in the dissemination of information?”
Rtd Brigadier-General Usman responder that the Nigerian Army does not use propaganda.
The second lecture commenced almost immediately as Senator JO Iruegbu, a Nigerian Journalist, Editor, Publisher, Analyst, and Facilitator, ascended the podium to talk about
“SOCIAL MEDIA: A PSYCHOLOGICAL TOOL FOR SUCCESSFUL CIVIL-MILITARY COOPERATION.”
Senator Iruegbu stated that Social Media works on the human psyche. He spoke about PSYOPs “Psychological Operations” and how it’s a weapon adopted to influence minds, using the Russian/Ukraine War as a case study.
He also made mention of the embrace of social media by several nations, recognizing its efficiency at reaching a large audience. Then he commented on the Civil-Military relations and how it has can create a much better relationship between the civil authority and the military through Quick Impact projects.
His lecture ended with another Q&A session and extensive interaction between the participants and the Nigerian Army officers present. Air Commodore Nweke of the Nigerian Air Force also chipped in his quota on the importance of social media influencers assisting the civil-military relations in the nation. Other senior Army officials, Major-General Taiwo, Unachukwu, and SS Araoye, also said their parts.
It was indeed an interesting and enlightening occasion and WE are sure it left a new stamp on the hearts of the participants on how to see the Military and ways to assist them.
There was then the presentation of certificates and souvenirs as well as an amazing lunch before the vote of thanks by the Executive Director of the Security Affairs Ltd, Amb. Austin Peacemaker.
With all you have read above, here lies the question,
“The Nigerian Army, Friend or Foe?“
WE believe unspoken words breed fallacy so it is wise to always tell your story. You can always reach the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Affairs Department on their Emergency Line 193, or call any of the numbers in the photo below;
The Nigerian Army is our Army. Let’s continue to support, appreciate and pray for our troops. Victory is Sure!”