- It is a great pleasure to address this graceful gathering on the occasion of my assumption of office as the Acting Director Defence Information (DDI). I must begin by gratefully acknowledging and appreciating God Almighty for making this day a reality. May I also express my profound gratitude to the Chief of Defence Staff General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin and the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for giving me the opportunity to serve in my new capacity and office. It is indeed an opportunity to contribute my quota, as an information, image and reputation manager, to the actualization of the vision of the Chief of Defence Staff, which is, “to ensure a well-motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is responsive to national security commitment”.
- There is no gainsaying, that contemporary security challenges have orchestrated a paradigm shift from the traditional interstate warfare between nation states to intra state conflicts, engendering a plethora of security challenges such as terrorism, insurgency, militancy, banditry and other sundry crimes. These developments have been most times, overwhelming for the paramilitary agencies, thereby occasioning the invitation of the military to act in aid of civil authority to restore law and other and ensure peace and stability. Therefore, in addition to the defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is engrossed in containing security challenges that are of internal disposition. I therefore urge you to use your respective reputable media to support and appreciate the AFN for its commitment and steadfastness in ensuring national security. I also enjoin you to encourage the general public to do same, as this will to a large extent motivate our troops and shore up their morale as they carry out the herculean task of defending the nation.
- May I seize this opportunity to remind us as media and public relations professionals, that publicity has been severally identified as the oxygen of terrorism. It is the life of the terrorists and keeps them going. Terrorism is a societal ill and an aberration. It is a threat to our collective peace, unity and national development and must not be allowed to thrive. It is therefore pertinent, to work hands in gloves to deny our common adversary the oxygen of publicity and crush the grandiose ego of terrorism.
- At this juncture, I must profoundly appreciate members of the press, for being very professional in our common quest to fight terrorism and insurgency in the North East for the enthronement of peace and national security. I must acknowledge, that as critical stakeholders, you have defied danger and death usually associated with violent extremism by resolutely remaining firm in exposing the ills of terrorism and the hardship and trauma to which innocent citizens have been exposed. Coming from the north east theatre of operation, I have observed as you diligently went about your duties to promote justice, fairness and equity in your reportage in the face of crisis. I therefore congratulate you for the good job and sincerely thank you for your tremendous support and cooperation thus far. I implore you not to relent but rather redouble your effort in supporting the AFN until we rid our society of these criminals.
- I must also express my gratitude to the outgoing DDI, Brig Gen John Agim for his candour and professionalism in steering the affairs of the Directorate of Defence Information in the past couple of years to this enviable height and to wish him utmost success in his future endeavours as he bows out, after a meritorious service in the AFN. May I equally leverage on this window of opportunity to humbly solicit the cooperation and support of the services spokespersons and other stakeholders, as I assume office as the Acting DDI. Your professional inputs from time to time will be undeniably welcomed. I sincerely appreciate all senior officers, Media and Public Relations Executives as well as Defence Correspondents for your esteemed presence at this occasion, despite your very busy schedules.
Acting Director Defence Information