The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore Wap Maigida, has sought for sustainable synergy with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the reportage of NAF’s operations and activities.
Maigida made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that NAN and the armed forces were partners and stakeholders in the Nigerian project, hence the need for synergy in information dissemination about the operations and activities of the military.
“ I came here to continue the synergy that we have had on churning out information about the armed forces and the air force in particular, for the people to know what the air force is doing in its operations and activities.
“We are all aware that NAN is a primary source of information and news for all other media stations and NAN has been working closely with the armed forces and the air force specifically in giving out information.
“I want to continue the cooperation and ask for continuous synergy from your organisation,” he said.
The spokesman commended NAN for ensuring that the right narratives of NAF was given out promptly, adding that the agency had always deployed professional hands to cover NAF activities.
“I want to also urge us to continue to galvanise support for the armed forces and the NAF specifically as we continue to conduct our constitutional roles of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“Let me also implore the Nigerian media to continue to avoid sensational news. I know as a government agency we have not had problem with that.
“We have only one armed forces and we must protect it.
“I know we are into electioneering period and there would be bashing from here and there, but everything will come and go and leave us behind. So let us protect ourselves in the eye of the storm,” he added.
Responding, NAN Managing Director said the agency has remained the home of quality and unbiased news and would always collaborate with and support the armed forces in its operations.
Ponle pledged to enhace the existing collaboration with the air force for the benefit of the country.
He told the NAF spokesman that the agency had recently restructured its operations with the recent expansion of its zonal offices from six to 12, for better service delivery.
He added that the agency has offices in the 36 states of the federation, as well as district offices for effective coverage of rural areas.
“We also have more than 10 foreign offices but because of paucity of funds, we had to reduce some.
“We have our office in New York, and we are in the process of reopening our offices in Johannesburg to cover South Africa; Côte d’Ivoire to cover West Africa and Ethiopia to cover the Eastern part of Africa.
“Just like what Nigeria has been, our focus is on Africa, but we ensure that we give priority to our local news in terms of news dissemination and we are still having clients from within and outside the country.
“In essence, when you talk to NAN, you have talked to the whole world, because here is where it happens.
“We have the multimedia which is the in thing now, we have the photography section and we have all other gene of journalism being covered,” he said.
The NAN boss added the agency has been preparing towards effective coverage of the forthcoming general elections, expressing the hope that it would be conducted peacefully nationwide.
Ponle pledged that the agency would not compromise standards in providing quality and unbiased news to its clients.
“We cannot afford to make mistakes as any mistake made by NAN would also be made by all newsorganisations relying on us.
“We don’t discriminate and we don’t have any allegiance. The only allegiance we have is for the survival of our country Nigeria, just like the armed forces.
“When it comes to objectivity, when you speak to NAN, you can all go to sleep, because what we push out will be the truth, nothing else but the truth,” he said.
Ponle said the agency would continue to identify with the armed forces because of their commitment to safeguarding the nation. (NAN)