A new Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau has assumed office at the Defence headquarters. He took over from Major General Jimmy Akpor who is redeployed to Army headquarters as Director of Personnel Services, Nigerian Army
This is just as the Nigerian Army disclosed it has commenced the verification and screening of eligible beneficiaries for Sponsorship of children of its personnel who died in active service. The scheme is designed to give the children of the deceased the requisite necessary education.
The Army said the verification and screening are for Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary institutions from 17 January to 17 February 2023 at Army Headquarters Command Officers Mess
Speaking before handing over to his successor, Major Gen Akpor said, “For one year that I have been on the saddle, management of information concerning the Armed Forces has beer eventful. The media has been wonderful, not because there were no news stories that were discomforting, mostly borne out misunderstanding of what we do, but because we reached a level of deeper understanding of what the responsibilities of the military are, and what the responsibilities of media are, to inform, to educate and to entertain the society, which of course include, informing the public about the activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“You need to hold them dearly, sometimes helping them to breakdown their stories to digestible bits. I must not forget to mention that I was thoroughly helped by the Chief of Defence Staff in forging an enduring relationship with the media, not a relationship that gags the media, but a relationship with a consciousness that, the media, like the military, has a crucial role to play in creating a peaceful, orderly environment for all citizens to aspire and live their dreams.
Continuing he said, “The truth about the Armed Forces of Nigeria is that of pedigree of best professional practices strengthened by our concepts, training, techniques and procedures and by a robust military judicial system. The truth about Armed Forces of Nigeria that is introspective, self-evaluating, self-repairing whenever there are any challenges that impinge on her image.
“And, in the last one year as Director Defence Information, the truth about the Armed Forces of Nigeria is the one that has done great exploits. Social economic life has virtually returned to the North East due to military efforts coupled with other elements of national power. There was bumper agricultural harvest in 2022, and in 13 years, Independence day parade was held in Maiduguri on October 2022. So are the exploits of the Armed Forces in other theatres of operation also resounding.
“Irrespective of the security challenges confronting the nation, and the way they mutate, the Armed Forces of Nigeria continue to build requisite capabilities through the support of the Federal Government. Whilst there were 48 piracy/armed robbery related incidents in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 2018, 35 in 2019, 35 in 2020 and 6 in 2021, there was none in 2022. This was not due to willful thinking, but due to dogged efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and availability of the critical assets provided.
“The Truth about the Armed Forces is therefore a professional Armed Force, rooted in its desire to meeting its constitutional imperatives. This is the truth, this is the image of the Armed forces, I am handing over to you, and I trust that you will handle it well”.
Gen Akpor who will be dealing with issues concerning discipline, welfare, medicals, regimentation, amongst other in the Nigerian Army at the directorate of Administration.
Regarding the screening of families of deceased soldiers, Gen Akpor said the categories of applicants are Primary School – 6 – 12 Years of Age, Secondary School – 12 – 18 Years of Age, while Tertiary Institutions – 18 – 22 Years of Age.
“They are to come for the screening and verification exercise with handwritten application for Sponsorship containing the names of the children, Letter of Admission of the beneficiary, Last School Report Card/results of the beneficiary, Letter of Confirmation from the School as to the students of the beneficiary, Birth Certificate of the beneficiary and Part 2 Orders Publication of death.
Others are Condolence Letter of deceased Parent, Noticias Signal, and Nigerian Army Application for Sponsorship form duly completed by the last unit and formation headquarters of the deceased personnel, four recent passport photographs of the beneficiary, Passport photograph of the deceased personnel, Account number and sort code as well as Telephone number of the surviving parent or administrator.
In his remarks, the Acting DDI, Brig Gusau urged the media to remain very professional in performing their duties especially on matters concerning our national security.
He said, “The power of your pen can go a long way in finding solutions to some of the security challenges our gallant troops are presently curtailing. I urge you to provide the enabling environment for members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to perform their constitutional roles without distractions.
“As the nation gradually approaches the coming general elections from next month, I appeal to you to avoid reports capable of affecting the moral of our gallant troops and the credibility of our Armed Forces as we work towards supporting other government agencies to achieve peaceful and credible elections across the country. As partners in progress, The AFN will be willing to assist you to also discharge your duties were necessary.
He solicited for same support, cooperation and understanding rendered Maj Gen Akpor during his tenure as the Director Defence Information adding, “I look forward to working with you as professionals in your field.”