The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has called on security agencies to avoid inter-agency rivalry which can damage their individual reputation and the government as a whole.
The Executive Secretary of CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (Rtd) made the call at a Special meeting of the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) in Abuja sponsored by Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) in collaboration with the Centre.
The meeting coincided with the United Nations World Press Freedom Day.
Anas said: “We have observed some disturbing trends, blame games and breaches in information disclosures among agencies of government in the media.
“We have also noticed conflicting information, disinformation and rivalries among respective organizations through the media. These developments can damage the reputation of the agencies involved and give Nigeria a bad image.
“We at the Centre therefore call for restraint as we urge effective synergy, collaboration and cooperation among agencies to protect their image and that of our country as we protect our national security interest.
“While commemorating with the press on the World Press Freedom Day, we call on the media to continue to engage with the security and response agencies in Nigeria to positively inform and public.”
The Chairman of the occasion, who doubles as the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman Kukasheka urged members of FOSSRA as the spokespersons of their respective organizations to handle information activities professionally and responsibly.
Kukasheka said: “As spokespersons of security agencies we should use our platforms to synergize and collaborate in harmonizing security information. We should always interact by sharing professional ideas towards eliminating incidences of conflicting sensitive information released to the public by our organizations. This is a period where we need to guard against all unnecessary bickering within the security milieu.”
The meeting which recorded large turn-out of participants from military, security, intelligence and response agencies in the country, also reviewed public perceptions of the agencies in the media in the first quarter of the year.
The forum commended the positive roles of the media in deepening democracy, enhancing security enlightment among the public as well as providing veritable platforms for interactions among the citizens.
Participants at the forum included officers from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defense Headquarters (DHQ), Nigerian Army, Air force, Navy, Police, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Department of State Service (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
Others included Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Fire Service (FSS), and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).