The Nigerian Army on Friday sought the support of social media influencers for “modern warfare” to shape public opinions in its quest to tackle insecurity.
“We are all aware that cyberspace is the latest domain of modern warfare,” said army’s Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Major-General Marcus Kangye. “Therefore, social media presents a veritable tool in influencing and shaping public opinion which is critical in deciding the outcome of modern warfare.”
Addressing participants of the 16th edition of Social Media Influencers Seminar in Enugu, Mr Kangye said “social media has a very crucial role to play in supporting the Nigerian Army’s non-kinetic line of operations as well as shaping public opinion on its operations.”
He said that is why the seminar is apt.
The seminar was themed: “The Evolving Role of Social Media in Support of the Nigerian Army Non-Kinetic Line of Operations.”
The Nigerian Army is facing public relations crisis following its indictment in the killing of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2000. The force has also been excoriated for extrajudicial killings of Shiites in Kaduna and suspected IPOB members in Oyigbo, Rivers, as well as in troubled parts of South-East.
Mr Kangye, however, said the Nigerian Army, in the last five years, had carried out more than 100 civil-military-related projects aimed at bridging the gap with the civil populace.
According to him, all these activities are geared at ensuring that the army is seen in the positive light as a responsible organisation in the service of Nigerian people.
The chief of civil-military affairs noted that there is so much that the social media can do to support Nigerian Army operations across the country.
He said: “It is essential to note that tackling insecurity generally involves the use of kinetic and non-kinetic methods.
“So I make bold to inform this gathering that the Nigerian Army is making giant strides in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country”.
Mr Kangye called on bloggers/online journalists to know and enlighten the populace on the dangers of misinformation or misinterpretation of facts as well as its negative consequences on the general security of Nigerians and Nigeria.
The seminar, which featured extensive interaction between 160 participants drawn from mainstream and online media, civil societies, NGOs and army personnel, started in 2018.