By Sunday Ani and Romanus Okoye
Director of Information of the Nigeria Navy, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, has called on the management and staff of the Sun Publishing Company Limited to support its officers and men as they carry out their day-to-day activities within the country’s maritime space.
Ezekobe made the call yesterday during a courtesy visit to The Sun office in Lagos.
Commodore Ezekobe, who was appointed to the position last month by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, said the Nigeria Navy is developing an action plan, which would involve a quick engagement of the media. This, he said is important because the media create a multiplier effect as to the activities and operations conducted, not only by the navy but by all agencies of government.
He said “the maritime domain is largely misunderstood by so many because they describe our activities as taking place in the nation’s backyard and, for those of us who live in the houses, you appreciate that visitors hardly get to your backyard. So, what happens in our backwaters is often not well known.
Speaking further, Commodore Ezekobe said the Navy is also involved passively in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast. In his response, Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie assured Ezekobe and his team of the total support of the newspaper.
“On behalf of the Board and Management of The Sun, we welcome you to the voice of the nation. Even before your call for co-operation, you will know that we have always co-operated with the navy, and indeed, the armed forces because the defence of the country is not just for those charged with the specific duty of protecting; the media is also the unarmed forces.
“So, we support the navy’s efforts. We believe you are doing very well. Nigeria has large coastal waters. It is not easy to do that especially with the paucity of funds. So, you can count on our support at all times. As we have been doing, we will continue to support the navy and other members of the armed forces because it is a task for all of us.”
Osagie also advised the navy to always make information available to newsmen when they ask for it as that would prevent incidence of speculative reporting of issues that affect them. “Don’t classify everything. The media is not harmful if you open up. The late Chief Moshood Abiola used to say if you smile at the mirror, it will smile back at you. So, if they need information, generously avail them. Don’t say no, because the media is also a very patriotic institution…”
Don’t say we won’t give them this information because if you don’t give them, they will publish what is available. But if you let them know and take them into confidence, they are responsible enough; they don’t want to write anything that will bend the nation.”