The new Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer has taken over at Defence headquarters with a pledge to operate an open door policy and honest communication parameters that are proactive and responsive.
He harped on Nigerians to remain patriotic and responsive by providing credible, timely and actionable information to aid the Armed Forces and other security agencies in performing their constitutional roles of protecting the territorial integrity as well as lives and property of law-abiding Nigerians and foreign nationals.
Expressing appreciation to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Farouk Yahaya for considering him worthy to be appointed as the Spokesperson of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Sawyer said, “It is indeed a clarion call and rare opportunity for me to contribute my quota as the new image-maker and mouthpiece of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards the realization of the leadership focus of the Chief of Defence Staff, which is, “To Foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting constitutional imperatives.”
He continued, “As we are all aware, the Armed Forces of Nigeria in synergy with other security agencies have continued to work round the clock in surmounting the nation’s numerous security challenges which include terrorism, insurgency, militancy, illegal oil bunkering, armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes.
“These ugly developments, which have continued to affect the peaceful co-existence of the citizens of our dear country, would in no distant time be a thing of the past, judging from the positive feelers emanating from the theaters of operation.
“I must therefore, be quick to say that the media which is commonly referred to as the fourth estate of the realm is a vital component in the entire process of any campaign plan in either conventional or asymmetric warfare. Let me therefore solicit the support of media operators in all spectrums to consider jettisoning sensational headlines that give undue publicity to perpetrators of acts of criminality that tend to undermine our national security”.
The DDI urged the media to be ethical and patriotic, to be objective, fair and balanced in their media coverage and reportage as we have no other country but Nigeria adding, “I will want to also encourage you to maintain these journalistic virtues as you redouble your efforts in supporting the AFN to ensure that the needed peace is restored in all the troubled parts of our dear nation”.
He commended Deputy Director, Defence Information, Air Commodore WAP Maigida for professionally steering the affairs of the Directorate of Defence Information in the past few weeks as the Acting Director assuring he (DDI) will leverage the windows of successes and experience gathered over the years at the directorate.
Earlier, Air Commodore Martins Maigida congratulated the new DDI on his appointment and assured him of the unalloyed commitment and support of the Officers, Soldiers, Ratings, Airmen/Airwomen and Civilian Staff of the Directorate of Defence Information