Defence Radio… promoting healthy civil-military relations

Defence Radio

Former President Goodluck Jonathan (right); Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; and Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade… at the commissioning of the radio station on May 22.

THE inauguration, recently, in Abuja of Defence Radio 107.7 FM has been described as a turning point that would enhance enlightenment of Nigerians on the activities of the military.

The new radio station is owned and being operated by the Armed Forces Radio Services. It is located inside the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja.

Indeed, stakeholders saw the establishment of the radio station as another commendable effort of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh in ensuring that the citizens are adequately informed on various security issues.

It is open secret that the Department of Defence Information, which is one of the sensitive organs of the Defence Headquarters, has continued to receive moral supports and encouragement from the Army Chief as he ensures that the activities of the armed forces are adequately and timely reported.

Terrorism insurgence the country is grasping with notwithstanding, Air Marshall Badeh has remained faithful to the mission statement of “enhancing effective co-ordination of the Armed Forces to meet the security aspirations of a united democratic Nigeria.”

Instructive is his admonition to Nigerians that when a country is at war, it is not only the military that will wage the war but the entire citizenry.

The admonition reflects that he is fully aware of the antics and mischief of the propaganda machinery of the terrorists and sundry agent provocateurs using the instrumentality of the media.

He saw the damage being done to the image and character of the Nigerian military through false account of the counter terrorist operation by a small but loquacious segment of the media and thought that the time was right to establish an armed forces radio station which will enhance effective management and timely dissemination of information on the activities and roles of the Nigerian Armed Forces especially in times of internal security operation such as the ongoing fight against terrorism in the country.

The radio has state-of-the-art digital facilities including seven digital studios, outside broadcasting (OB) van, transmitter that has the capacity to transmit message up to 500 kilometers radius and a website facility that will stream live to global audience. Former President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned it on May 22, 2015.

It is envisioned that the radio station give the Nigerian military a platform to tell its own story, provide information to the public and promote healthy civil-military relations in the country. Realizing the competence of his team, Alex Badeh would rather take necessary risk to save his staffs that are unnecessarily being victimized.

He once came out openly to defend his spokesperson, Major General Olukolade who is also Director, Defence Information over a controversial statement on Chibok girl.

The CDS said Olukolade was misled by officers who gave him wrong information on the whereabouts of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.

Apart from delegating responsibilities and encouraging the spirit of team work, Badeh has ensured an enviable synergy and improved inter-agency collaboration, not only among service chief but with other security agencies. Past inter-agency rivalry and mutual suspicions have giving way for a united team of security agencies speaking with one voice on sensitive issues.

His stance on issues may have earned him name calling by critics, Badeh’s arguments are hardly disputed. While pleading with Nigerians to help the military with accurate information so that the country can be more effective in the anti-terror war, he insinuated that western countries were not ready to help Nigeria despite the fact that Boko Haram “is more vicious” than the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is currently being bombed by the US and its Arab allies.

On assumption of office as Nigeria’s 15th Chief of Defence Staff on January 16, 2014, he proceeded to take charge of the Nigerian Armed Forces with an uncommon determination and zeal.

By stroke of providence, his appointment came at a time when there was an unimaginable ascendancy of the Boko Haram terrorism in the north east part of the country. Expectedly, he devoted his attention and set his priority towards the counter terrorist operation.

Not distracted by the irritation and distraction of the Boko Haram terrorists and their sympathizers, he embarked upon on and executed over 30 major transformational projects that were geared towards repositioning the Nigerian Armed Forces for greatness.

His approach was simply to confront challenges realistically and as practicable as possible, with a view to providing lasting solutions, while at the same time maximizing cost. Even as the activities of Boko Haram terrorist elements were literarily boiling over, Badeh never wavered nor discomfited.

He remained focused, determined and result-oriented despite the orchestrated media vilification and unconscionable taunts that were directed at his person, his office and the entire Nigerian military. As a Commander, he identified his challenges and plotted his strategies.

He consistently assured Nigerians that Boko Haram would be defeated ultimately. The success and peaceful conducts of the recent election vindicated him and the service chiefs who had reiterated that all efforts had been made to provide maximum security before, during and after the elections.

As firm believer in the maxim that good working environment engenders productivity in the work force, Air Chief Marshal Badeh on assumption of office took a tour of the Defence Headquarters and discovered a dearth of office accommodation for staff.

Some offices accommodated more than two deputy directors while some offices had a lot of senior officers. Additionally, the general office environment was unkempt and dirty.

This informed the need for more offices to be created and a complete renovation and expansion of the DHQ complex were embarked upon.

About 30 new offices have been created and a new ultra-modern conference room with gallery as well as audio-visual and briefing room befitting of Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters were built in the office extension.

Among other notable projects the Chief initiated and completed within the short period of his tenure as the Chief of Defence Staff include the renovation and modification of Defence House Lagos, which is today wearing a new look.

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