Panel Discussants at the 24th Social Media Influencers Seminar in Umuahia, on the topic “Harnessing the Social Media to promote Nigeria and Support Army Operations”, organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Civil Military Affairs in conjunction with Security Affairs Limited, have called on the Nigerian Army to partner the media for better reportage of the successes of the Army.
The Discussants also charged the Army hierarchy to create a national online radio to propagate the activities of the Nigerian Army, contending that the online radio should come up with contents aimed at repudiating the negative perceptions the youth, among others have about the Army.
One of the Discussants, Dr Kingsley Osi, said the Nigerian Army have talented able bodied men and women in every sense, adding that they can start by organising skits (a short comedy sketch or piece of humorous writing, especially a parody) where some of the successes the Nigerian Army has made over the years can be relayed for public viewing.
He hinted that the Nigerian populace love their Military and are ready to work in synergy with them, noting that the Army will first change by putting in place machineries to assuage the negative perceptions on the psyche of the populace which has made them constantly hold the US military in high esteem while knocking their own.
Dr Osi, said the exploits of Nigerian military in peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone, remains a reference point, saying that the major problem has been the inability of the public and other critical stakeholders to market the Nigerian military, calling on all, to key into this promotion of the success stories of the Army.
On his part, another Discussant, Sampson Charles, said the Media Influencers are yet to buy into the successes of the Nigeria Army, revealing that he is always in shock whenever he reads the success stories of the military, urging them to also help the masses by presenting pictorial evidences of their medical outreaches and other positive strides they have attained.
He advocated that there should be a programme in Primary and Secondary Schools in the country where the Military can engage students thereby changing the negative perceptions they have about them.
In all, the Panelists charged the military hierarchy to help tell their stories better by synergizing with social media influencers, upgrade their social media handles by deploying personnel to man them, creating programmes aimed at engaging the public on the achievements among others, saying through these, some of these perceptions will be erased and debunked.
Earlier while presenting a paper on, Fake News Syndrome and Perception Management in the Nigerian Army: The Way Forward, Chiemeziem Anyadike, said the greatest challenge facing the Nigerian Army, is the ” Information War”. He said it is a must win war for the military if it intends to see perceptions of the populace about the Army change.
He opined that the military can win this war, if it begins to synergise with the media, so as contents that reflect on the various successes of the military, can dished out for public conception, maintaining that the Army is blessed with talented men and woman who are doing the country proud in different operations.
Anyadike, charged the Army hierarchy, to put out contents showing where the army have fun, sing, play soccer, basket ball among others as was the case with the US military, emphasizing that these will go a long way in changing the negative perceptions the populace have about them.