Worried by the high use of propaganda by the Boko Haram insurgents, the Nigerian Army has sought ways of improving on its psychological operations in the ongoing fight against insurgency.
The Chief of Army Staff Lt General Tukur Buratai gave the charge when he received members of the National Defence College Course 27 who presented a paper on the topic “Psychological Operations and operational efficiency: social media in perspective’ at the Army headquarters yesterday.
Reacting on the recommendations, he said the department of Army intelligence will be supported to drive the psychological operations in order to win the hearts and minds of the populace.
Regretting the wide spread of negative reports about the Army as against positive events, he said the Army will not be stampeded in responding to mischief but rather adopt administrative approaches to handling mischievous reports.
“ We will work on improving our psychological operations. The department of Army intelligence will be supported to drive the operations, “He therefore charged the commandant of the College Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri to ensure that the next set of the College researches on the theory of a failed state.
He explained that researchers have predicted that Nigeria will be a failed state in 2030, hence, the need to ensure it doesn’t happen.
He said “In the next course, we must explore the theory of developed/failed state,”
He therefore tasked the next set to research on the topic “Developed state:the prospects and challenges for Nigeria in 2030,”
In his presentation on behalf of the participants, Col Thompson Ugiagbe said the research was aimed at identifying the gaps in the fight against insurgency covering from year 2009 to June 2019.
He noted that irregular threats have resorted to the use of social media to win sympathy while the Army was yet to exploit the potentials of social media.
He said overtime, such lapses had led to operational security threats and increased public perception and image of the insurgents.
He therefore recommended that the Army should formulate a social media policy and establish a social media unit that will constantly interface with the audience.
The course 27 therefore recommend that “the NA should direct the Department of Army Policy and Plans (DAPP) to formulate NA policy on Psychological operations.
In his reaction to the presentation, the Chief of Policy and Plans AHQ, Lt General Lamidi Adeosun said psychological operations is a national issue which is beyond service hence,should be fronted by the federal government.
He charged the participants to revisit the paper and review grey areas and come up with a workable document for it to be transmitted to the appropriate authority for further actions.
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