#President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday commissioned a public radio station operated fully by the #Nigerian armed forces, saying it would mark a turning point in the ongoing Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency (CT COIN) operations in the country.
Sited at the #Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja, the station will be transmitting on 107.7 FM, and is said to be the first ever military radio station in West Africa.
Jonathan used the occasion to urge the Nigerian military to ensure that all their efforts against the Boko Haram terrorists were not overshadowed by propaganda stories from some foreign media outfits.
According to Jonathan, “some people will come to me and say Nigerians do not know what the military is doing, and ask ‘are they covering up?’
“And sometimes other nations bring in foreign media to cover their operations and things are exaggerated as if they are even working harder than us.
“So today that you are launching your radio station will be a turning point, some of your operations will be properly covered and Nigerians will know. If they know what you are doing and what you are passing through they will remain grateful.
“So, I am pleased you are commissioning a radio station and I believe quite sincerely, especially with the infrastructure put in place that this country will be properly covered and will help enhance the operations of armed forces to be able to informed Nigerians and enable them to appreciate the armed forces more.”
The #President acknowledged what he described as the resilience and doggedness of the armed forces in the face of daunting security challenges in the country and the successes they have recorded so far.
He noted that past neglect of the military in terms of hardware acquisition and relevant training has compounded the security infrastructure and affected the precision of military response to these challenges.
He however stressed that the recent purchases and support have reversed the trend, thus “allowing for effective governance peace and security in areas heitherto held by terrorists and other misguided elements.”
Jonathan also used the opportunity to call on all Nigerians to appreciate the commitment and the sacrifices of the armed forces, pointing out that “we wouldn’t have been sleeping if these people are not working.
“I always feel a bit worried and at times angry when I read in the papers comments about our armed forces and the police.
“Ours is a society that sometimes doesn’t appreciate the commitment of individuals, suffering of individuals. These people fight and some times pay the supreme price, leaving widows and children as orphans. Instead of commending and encouraging them, sometimes we criticise.
“Yes, as society we must criticise especially when it has to do with the services of the security personnel but every society respects members of their security team and as a nation if we must encourage them to do better, first and foremost we have to encourage them, not to criticise them.”
Jonathan commended the exemplary partnership between the armed forces and other government agencies on special occasions especially at the recently concluded elections, saying, “this is in line with the patriotic efforts and unalloyed support which this administration has enjoyed from the armed forces throughout my tenure”.
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