Defence & Security

Security experts task journalists on objective reportage, forward-looking laws

By Alex Olise

Foremost expert, Mr Matthew Ibadin, and public relations officers of various security agencies who spoke at a recently concluded workshop have tasked journalists to use their power to promote the enactment and implementation of laws that would favour the generality of the populace while also ensuring that they report the news objectively.

In his lecture delivered at the media workshop, Ibadin, who is the MD/CEO of Badinson Security, established that journalists have a duty to use the profession to rebrand Nigeria through positive reportage, that is, there must be collective effort deployed in projecting the good image of the country.

“This is the time for every journalist to celebrate Nigeria and we must practice the kind of journalism targeted at rebranding the country and not chasing out investors. There is what is called National Security which must come first in every reportage so as not to drive away Investors, development, or put the country in a bad light.

“This means that there is information not meant to be reported, especially matters with National Security implications, and also resist the sharing or reporting of fake news,” he said.

Mr Ibadin also tasked journalists to use their media to advocate for forward-looking laws.

“The National Assembly must be nudged to pass laws which prohibit elected government officials, appointees from the use of Generators, solar system, and other alternatives to generate power for use except for the National power source (Electricity).

“This is because Nigeria has continued to experience epileptic power supply and in many parts of the country, non-existent supply, while those who use power occasionally, pay exorbitantly for it.

“The lack of Electricity/Power supply has forced many investors and companies to relocate to other countries thereby putting millions of able-bodied youths out of employment, causing inflation of commodities and ultimately, increasing the rate of crime.

“Past and Present Governments have spent billions of naira in trying to fix this challenge all to no avail because the government, the elites, and appointees can easily afford other alternatives to the National Electrical Power Source. It is high time that practitioners of this noble profession (Journalism) use their professional pens to change the narratives.

“The media must push for laws through the National Assembly that prohibits senior government officials, appointees, and other senior public holders from using generators and/or other alternatives to National Power in their offices and homes.

“Having a constant power supply is not rocket science. It is time to demand it and have it so that investors and artisans who have been negatively affected and chased out of business can return to their businesses, increase employment opportunities, and production, and ultimately, grow the economy. With a constant power supply, I can assure you that the rate of crime will drastically reduce as millions of our youths will become gainfully engaged.”

He also wants Journalists/Media to demand that the National Assembly pass a law that prohibits elected officials or appointees from sending their children/wards to private schools/Institutions but to public schools and institutions because they are public officials.

Also, he advocated for a law that prohibits all elected government Officials, Civil servants, Appointees, and directors from using private hospitals or traveling abroad for medical treatment. Adding that the law should specify that they and their family members use public hospitals and if the need arises to travel abroad for medical attention, such individual must resign his/her appointment or position.

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He said, “A typical example was the intended strike action by the Nigerian Local Airline Association due to the high cost of Aviation Fuel and which was suddenly called off because it will negatively affect the activities and life of the Elite, the Politicians and government and expose them to the dangers, insecurity experience through land travels.

“The government, the Elites, and the Politicians were quick to resolve and compromise with the Airlines. But have failed to resolve and find a long-lasting solution to the unending faceoff with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), simply because most of the Government officials and Politicians have their children/wards schooling outside the Shores of Nigeria and have very little or no concerns for the education system here.

“The media must continuously highlight the education system until it becomes competitive and sit side by side with foreign education systems.”

Ibadin also used the opportunity to tell journalists to press for constitutional reforms in areas such as the removal of State of Origin from the constitution and replacing it with the State of Residence as well as local government policing not state policing because crime is locally perpetrated.

On his part, the Public Relations Officer, 9th Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, Major AK Bello admonished Nigerian journalists against rushing to the press with stories inimical and detrimental to the interest of the Nigerian nation, and by extension, the public.

“In the pursuit of professionalism, there are etiquettes that must be considered before stories are published, even if they are true.

“We understand that you are obligated to do your job, but what happens after doing your job, and the nation burns, to whose advantage? It is proper that when matters of serious interest are discovered, courtesy demands that the agencies involved are contacted, and there will always be a way the whole thing could be managed to ensure that issues do not escalate to damaging proportion,” Bello told pressmen.

Corroborating Major Bello, the Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC Lagos Sector Command, Route Commander Olabisi Sonusi said “Instead of pushing out negative stories about us, use your initiative, just identify the vehicle body code, the location, and time the officer misbehaved. With that, we can track the officer and punish him or her.”

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State Command, Assistant Superintendent of Corps I (ASCI), Abolurin Oluwaseun Olumide submitted in his lecture that pressmen and security agencies must collaborate.

“The need for the media to collaborate with security agencies can no longer be overemphasized, following the current realities of our world today,” he said.

He admonished Journalists to embrace national interest, caution, objectivity, observation, timeliness, and the ethics of the noble profession.

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