Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke has charged security agencies to be more committed to mutual relationships and collaboration in achieving peace and tranquillity.
Oke made these observations at the monthly meeting of the Forum of the Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) in Abuja last weekend.
He noted that attaining these objectives will also ensure that conflicts arising from the performance of their jobs are resolved amicably in the interest of Nigerians.
Oke who was represented by Ambassador Emmanuel Okafor, said collaboration is a mutually beneficial and well defined relationship meant to achieve common goals.
“As information gatekeepers and image makers of your respective organisations you should continue to work together to ensure that the public is better educated and informed on efforts to ensure their safety and security.”
He also commended the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for initiating the forum.
In his remarks, the Chairman of FOSSRA, Major General Chris Olukolade said since the inception of the forum, FOSSRA has actively engaged the media on the need to be objective and fair in their reportage.
He said the forum had also ensured that agencies speak with one voice on security issues while attempts have been made to reduce friction and conflict among member agencies.
Olukolade who is also the Director of Defence Information observed that while the media have been somewhat supportive, there is the need for them to show patriotism at this critical period when criminal elements and terrorists are becoming more daring, skilful and sophisticated in propaganda and media war with the intention to create fear and panic among the citizens.
He said “We strongly believe the media will not only encourage mutual harmony among agencies but also support the security agencies in carrying out their national assignment with pride and joy so that the populace will also appreciate the sincere efforts of security peroneal to win the battle.”
Chairman of The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS), retired Air Vice Marshall Mohammed Audu-Bida who was invited to address the forum urged Nigerians to appreciate the enormous sacrifice and efforts being made by security agencies in their operations to combat criminality and atrocities being committed against innocent citizens by undesirable elements.
Audu-Bida said “Sometimes I get disturbed when average citizens criticise and condemn our security personnel who are in the war zone staking their lives to protect others. How I wish they put themselves in their shoes to realise that our troops are Nigerians like all of us who are committed to defend the nation’s territorial integrity.”
Audu-Bida however added that security agencies themselves should work together as one family and avoid bickering and rivalry. He said “There is nothing anyone can gain in pomposity, self-pride and egotism among personnel of agencies. Such acts can only expose them to public ridicule and chastisement.
He commended FOSSRA for partnering with TIEMS in raising awareness on disaster risk reduction strategies and in their campaign for security consciousness among Nigerians.
Operating under the auspices of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), members of FOSSRA are drawn from Defence Headquarters, Army, Air force, Navy, Police, ONSA,NIA, State Security Service, Civil Defence Corps, Immigration Service, Prison Service, Fire Service, Customs Service, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, National Emergency Management Agency and Federal Road Safety Commission.