The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Christopher Musa, has tasked the media with positive representation of Nigeria in their reportage.

The military chief argued that there must be a nation before anyone could even discuss it, wondering why Nigerians often speak evilly about their country.

Musa spoke during a seminar organized by members of the Defence Correspondents Association of Nigeria, with the theme Civil-military relations: non-kinetic efforts of the Nigerian Military in security management, challenges, and prospects.

“There must be a nation before you can even discuss it. Sometimes I find it very hard to understand when I hear Nigerians speaking evil about their country,” he said.

He added that Nigerians must realise that, as Africans, there is power in the words they say, as their utterances could affect the growth of the nation.

“We must learn how to be positive about our country,” he added.

“We have seen other countries. For most nations, it’s not that they don’t have issues, but their citizens don’t put their problems at the forefront like we do.

“So, it’s important that we take ownership of our country. We must wish our country well and our leaders well. When they err, let us call them to question and provide solutions. It’s not always just about negative criticism.

“When you’re calling for God to punish your leaders, you’re not helping the growth of your country.

“The budget of America for this year is over $800 billion for defense.

“If you look at our budgets, convert it to dollars. I’m sure you know, do the math, you know how much we’re getting.

Americans produce what they need. We don’t. We need to buy sometimes.

Even when you have the money, sometimes you don’t get what you need. So you can understand the environment we’re operating in.

Insulting or wishing evil on your country does not mean you’ll get better. Diminishing someone else’s life does not mean yours will prosper.

As a team, we must take ownership of Nigeria to ensure that it develops.

Also speaking, the Director-General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, NARC, Maj. Gen. Wahab Garba (rtd), called on journalists to be patriotic in their reportage.

According to him, “We tend to compare what is obtainable in the US and the UK to what is obtainable in Nigeria, forgetting the cultural differences.

“Tune in CNN today, go to the BBC, and you’ll hardly see any reports against what is happening in Ukraine that are detrimental to national interest and national security.

“But today in Nigeria, open your TV, look at some channels, and you can easily decipher that this particular channel is against the government.

“And so they go to any lengths in saying anything, and that is detrimental to national security and national interest.

“I’m not saying to cover up what is wrong, but there are ways in which these are done elsewhere.

“But there are ethics on both sides. There are things that, if you go beyond the boundary or beyond the level, then you are endangering the lives of those who are actually trying to secure the environment.”

‘We must learn how to be positive about Nigeria’ – CDS

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