Conscious of the need for responsive and timely information management on counterinsurgency and air operations, the African Public Relations Association and the Nigerian Air Force have agreed to work out capacity building programmes for officers of the Force.
The President of APRA, Yomi Badejo-Okunsanya, who made the disclosure during a courtesy call to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, said the capacity building programme would afford participants knowledge and expertise on strategic communication in conflict management.
Badejo-OKusanya said: “Officers in the armed forces should be acquainted with global best practices in Public Relations and conflict management on how to limit negative aspects of crisis while increasing the positive aspects of the conflict.
“The aim of the programme is to enhance learning and group outcomes including effectiveness on information management during conflict and crisis for a positive outcome.”
The APRA President, who described the Air Force as one of the forward-looking agencies that deployed PR practices in all operations, commended its spokesperson, Air Vice Marshall Olatokunbo Adesanya, for his accomplishment in media relations.
He said: “I must commend the Airforce spokesperson, Air Vice Marshall Olatokunbo Adesanya, one of the finest spokespersons in the security sector for exhibiting high level of professionalism through his timely press releases, the courtesy of picking and response to media enquiries and the thoughtful manner he managed crises.”
In his response, Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force is not only engaging in military operations in the fight against terrorists and criminals, but the service also executes Corporate Social Responsibility programmes in its host communities.
He said: “On a weekly basis, we eliminate armed terrorists in their hideouts and camps.
“We also demonstrate our social responsibility by providing medical outreach and provision of humanitarian items to affected areas and host communities of our operations.
“We believe in the power of Public Relations because through effective information management, we have received intelligence reports from community leaders as well as surrendered insurgents in large numbers.
“The Nigerian Airforce will be happy to partner with the international body for the training of our officers on global best practices which I strongly believe APRA is one of them.”