The Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), Lagos State Command, Usman Alfadarai, has cautioned the members of the fourth estate of the realm against dwelling on stories just to attract sales and traction to their platforms, saying that such an act is inimical to national security, and capable of not only hurting the sensibilities of people but can cause unrest difficult to control.
The Commandant, who assumed office in Lagos in February made the remarks when the members of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), led by its president, Mr. Samson Oki, paid him a courtesy visit in his Ikeja office on Tuesday.
Explaining that he, just as any public official needs the media to survive, as regards the propagation of the lofty ideas and achievements in the field, it is also imperative that the media, which he described as a powerful go-between and tool in the making and dissemination of information, must apply caution, and not sensationalize events to ridicule or blow out of proportion.
Alfadarai heaped encomiums on the media, and particularly NAOSNP, acknowledging that the association has been a strong ally in the success stories of the NSCDC.
“It gives me joy to welcome you today, and apologise that events have not allowed us to earlier meet than now.
I commend your efforts in the reportage of security stories that have showcased the law enforcement agencies in good light, especially placing the Corps in the front burner of core security operatives.
“I have heard of the support you gave my predecessors, and have seen in the last three months or so how you have consistently followed our programmes, and given our affairs prominence in the media space. We are grateful.
“However, I must mention that most media practitioners intentionally or unintentionally delve into the world of sensation.
Beware of sensational stories for it does no one no good.
Be as professional as possible, and remember that for all you do, national interest should be paramount,” he said.
Alfadarai wondered what good it would do anyone if the country burns because of his narrative, and pledged that as he remains the Commandant in Lagos, the synergy between NAOSNP and NSCDC will continue to be strong.
In his response, Oki informed the Commandant that the Association has over the years harboured men and women, whose integrity is not in doubt, and that explains why it is difficult to curry fake narratives.
He praised the Commandant’s performing trajectory, and advised him to reciprocate the gesture in Lagos as the centre of excellence.
“We believe your coming to Lagos is a wonderful development, and the birth of more new exciting and wonderful form of policing of our national infrastructure.
The job of the Corps has in no small measure added advantage to the security maintenance of the country, and we congratulate you, and to a larger extent the Commandant General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, OFR, whose tenure has witnessed nothing but great feats.
One cannot forget in a hurry the Special Female Squad that has become a toast in the world of security.
“As an association, we are equally happy to be part of these success stories, and vow to sustain the tempo as long as it is in the interest of national security.
In doing this therefore, we seek your support in making information available, and on time,” Oki said.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Deputy Commandant Okon and Assistant Corps Commandant.
In the entourage of NAOSNP were the General Secretary, Theresa Moses, PRO, Eric Elezuo, Treasurer, Bakenne Kazeem, Director of Photography, Friday Etim, Femi Arikawe, Bose Adelaja and Adeola Shittu.