The new Director Army Public Relations is Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu. Gen Nwachukwu is a brilliant senior officer with aura of experience, born on the 15 June 1968 in Ibadan, but hails from Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
This astute and versatile, an intelligentsia but humble officer, until he inroads into the trajectory of affairs as Director Army Public Relations, was directing the affairs of Defence Information at Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in an acting capacity.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu during his tour of duty while at the DHQ had no doubt proved his progressive antecedents and capabilities by creating a robust, healthier and welcoming relationship with journalists who have already tested the waters.
It is pertinent to note, that as the dark bank of cloud of insecurity looms and the conspiracy as well as negative narratives orchestrated deliberately to undermine the efforts of the military by the subversive elements thereby dampening on the troops’ fighting morale with virtually no glimmer of hope, the advent of the shining face of Brig Gen Nwachukwu as Army spokesperson is tasking and demanding.
He is coming at a time there are enormous security challenges facing the nation and the trends of fake news are colossal and glaring.
Today, the country’s indices of insecurity threats are multifaceted and widespread, his assumption of duty would break ranks with failure to make unprecedented inroads into the information management and media relation given his pedigree ,passion and the tested capability.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu undoubtedly acknowledged this fact during his speech on assumption of duty at Finance Conference Hall, Army Headquarters, Abuja noted, “I must, therefore, make haste to say that the complex nature of these security challenges requires multi-disciplinary approach and a conglomerate of stakeholders of which the media is a very vital one”.
He observed that, kinetic approach was not the only valuable variable in solving those multidimensional challenges in the country, but acknowledged the role of the Fourth Estate of the Realm (the media) as panacea towards feeding the public space with rightful information. He admitted that the current war against insurgents, banditry,kidnapping, farmers-herder clashes, separatists’ agitation , amongst others cannot be fought in trenches alone.
“It is indisputable and very well established fact, that the sword or gun cannot alone, provide a panacea to the complex and multifaceted security challenges that characterize today’s world.
“In decisively overcoming these challenges, the NA and the media must be partners in progress to surmount this security threats to berth the peace and tranquility we all earnestly desire as a people and nation”.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu said he had no doubt of the responsibilities of his office as the Director Army Public Relations, which is summarily to project the activities of the NA with the objective of galvanizing public goodwill and support for the NA, as it strives assiduously to surmount contemporary security challenges bedeviling the nation.
He called for collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the media to tackle security challenges confronting the nation.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu’s capability, competence and efficiency can always be vouched for.
An alumnus of the University of Ibadan who has tested his tentacles, holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Post Graduate School Kaduna.
A well furnished and erudite Public Information Officer has a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from the International Institute of Journalism Abuja.
Gen Nwachukwu is a proud member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Since commissioned into the Nigerian Army (NA), the very efficient senior officer has attended several military and professional courses,not excluding seminars both within and outside the shores of Nigeria. These include; Deputy Spokesman/Media Operations Course at the Joint Information Activities Group, Royal Air Force, Halton United Kingdom,not forgetting the Special Operations Command Course he attended at the Shijizhuang Military Academy, China.
He has equally attended Strategic Communication Course at the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) Lagos and the Counter Terrorism Course, at the Infantry Corps Centre and School (ICCS), Jaji, Kaduna State.
The new Army Spokesman has served in various Units and Commands within and outside the NA with excellent performance and professionalism.
He was a one time Deputy Director Public Relations, Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (now christened Hadin Kai), Assistant Director Defence Information (NA), at the DHQ, Chief of Staff Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations and Public Relations Officer NDA. He also once served as the Media Coordinator, Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Gen Nwachukwu has participated in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) as Military Public Information Officer.
He is happily married and blessed with 4 children. He enjoys Reading, Travelling, Cracking Jokes and Listening to Local Music.
Brig Gen Nwachukwu, is indeed, a shinning Sun who will no doubt outshine and disperse the Dark Cloud.
Victor Akaa writes from Abuja