British, Nigerian Military partner on crisis information mgt
//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
In a bid to foster already existing cordial relationship between the two countries, a team of Instructors Leader of the British Instructors, Major Jo Panayiotou, British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) is partnering Nigerian Armed Forces on crisis information management.
With this development, the participants, who were drawn from Public Relations Departments of Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce and Nigerian Army, are expected to be more efficient in managing information during any crisis in such a way that it will be accurate with that of the media that may have reporting from the same incident at the same time.
Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, said he observed that there are differences when it comes to information dissemination between military services and the press, saying one of the several aims of the training is to address such differences.
CDS, who was represented by Commodore Chukwuka Chiejile, stated this in an interview with newsmen shortly after the closing of the 5-day training course at Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre (NAPKC) in Jaji, Kaduna State over the weekend, added that the Defense Headquarters has over the time, developing means of passing across information on progress made in all its activities including through recently launched FM radio managed by the DHqs.
Leader of the British Instructors, Major Jo Panayiotou, said her team is working closely with Military formations to strengthening professionalism of Nigerian Armed Forces.
“We are working on crisis communication skills to see how to engage with media when a crisis is going on; how to make sure that information is getting across in a manner the press is going about it and Armed Forces been able to manage it as well.
“Armed Forces in Nigeria has a professional body in PR. What we are providing is our expertise. We have gone to places to share our knowledge and experience which has helped to improve in the way we do things to get better results,” she stressed.
Commandant, NAPKC, Brigadier General Adamu Dauda, said the training is meant to address the gap between the real information to the public, quickly added that “it is necessary for the public to know what is going on during any crisis management. However, the way and manner this is done is important.
A participant, Spokesperson of Operation Lafia Dole, 7 Division, Maiduguri, Borno State, Colonel Mustapha Anka, who claimed to have spent 25 years in managing information, stated that the training will make participants more efficient and result oriented while discharging their responsibility.
Another participant, Lieutenant Commander Tukur Mohammed, said the training received had further exposed participants to some rudiments of crisis information management, describing it as “a very good vehicle for us to package information for community and media.”
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