From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Inadequate synergy among the public, media and security agencies have been identified as one of the major factors flaming the embers of insecurity in Nigeria.
According to a Communique signed by the chairman of Kano state Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Malam Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu and the Manager, PRNigeria, Kano office, Adnan Mukhtar Adamu, after a one-day workshop entitled Digital Journalism and National Security: “The Role of Influencers in the fight against crime,” held at PRNigeria Centre Kano, the Public Relations unit of security outfits are expected to work in synergy with media practitioners, in terms of providing strategic, timely and accurate information on security agencies’ efforts in combating terrorism, banditry, communal clashes and other forms of criminal activities.
The Workshop was organized at the instance of the management of PRNigeria.
During the discussions, participants including representatives of different security agencies, media managers, media practitioners, online journalists, among other stakeholders, agreed that the state of security in Nigeria and level of synergy between the public, the media and security agencies needed improvement.
The Communique noted that, “the prevailing insecurity in Nigeria and especially in the North is alarming, worrisome and calls for strategic and proactive measures.
” That a kinetic approach is mostly being deployed to tackle insecurity. There is seemed to be inter-agency rivalry among government organs, especially security services in handling the situation. There is lack of mutual relationship between spokespersons and the media including the influences.”
The Communique further regretted that, “some spokespersons are yet to recognize the value of Social Media engagement in responding to security situations. The deployment of fire brigade approach in crisis management is becoming a norm. The anonymous nature of social media presence makes it easy for some users to paddle hate speech and fake news.
The Communique, however, recommended that, “good governance and rule of law is key.
Non Kinetic approach on tackling insecurity especially through awareness campaign, political inclusion and social empowerment.”
It also stressed the need to establish, sustain and improve inter-agency collaboration for intelligence gathering and coordinated operation in the fight against crimes.
The Communique added that improved media relations/synergy with members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm in ensuring adequate, timely and responsive information delivery should be maintained.
The Workshop also pointed out the need for, “proactive approach in crisis management through adequate planning, simulation exercises among others.”
The Communique added that there was need to carry Nigerian youths along in ensuring that they go beyond primordial sentiment in social media engagement, particularly to ensure that their narratives are targeted towards Nation Building and Peaceful coexistence.
It also identified strategic communication as kinetic approach in tackling insecurity.
The AUTHORITY reports that over 30 members from across the Security Services, Response Agencies, Media, Civil Society, Academics and Youth Organisation attended the workshop.
Papers were presented and discussions followed in order to broaden knowledge and understanding of what is at stake and explore various ways of partnership with the media to achieve desired goals.
The main papers were: New Media and the Agenda Setting Theory; A Case for Security Consciousness by Mohammed Dahiru Lawal – Managing Editor, Arewa Agenda and Strategic Communication for Crisis Management by Mallam Yushau Shuaib.