By Augustine Ehikioya
Ensuring no vacuum, the new acting Director Defence Information (DDI) of the Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General Tukur Ismaila Gusau, assumed duty on Tuesday 17th January, 2023.
He took over from the immediate past DDI, Major General Oluwonigho Jimmy Akpor, who was recently appointed Director of Personnel Services (Army) at Army Headquarters.
Gusau was inaugurated in the presence of other senior officers, representatives of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
After taking over the new position, Gusau commended his predecessor for impressively forging better relationship with the media and positively projecting the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
Noting that the media had been a key player in every aspect of national development, he also appreciated the media for their continuous support for the armed forces over the years.
Gusau therefore called for enhanced relationship between the military and the media, stressing that it’s a matter of national security.
He specifically sought for more media support, cooperation and understanding, which they had rendered to his predecessor as Director of Defence Information.
The new DDI said “I urge you to provide the enabling environment for members of the AFN to perform their constitutional roles without distractions.
“As the nation gradually approach the coming general election starting from next month, I urge you to avoid reports capable of affecting the morale of our gallant troops and the credibility of our armed forces as we work towards supporting other government agency to achieve peaceful and credible elections across the country.
“As partners in progress, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is willing to assist to discharge your duties where necessary,” he assured.
Speaking earlier at the handover ceremony, in his speech entitled “the Truth About the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” the immediate past DDI said that the media and the military had reached a level of deeper understanding of what the responsibilities of the military were, and what the responsibilities of media were.
According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) General LEO Irabor had done so much in forging an enduring relationship with the media with a consciousness that, the media, like the military, had a crucial role to play in creating a peaceful, orderly environment for all citizens to aspire and live their dreams.
Commending the CDS for the two media parleys with editors and chief executives of media houses, he said the fruitful discussions led to better understanding of the responsibilities of each profession in furtherance of national security.
Gen Akpor, said it was that of pedigree of best professional practices strengthened by the concepts, training, techniques and procedures and by a robust military judicial system.
Pointing out that the truth about Armed Forces of Nigeria was the one that had done great exploits, he said that social economic life has virtually returned to the North East due to military efforts coupled with other elements of national power.
He said there was bumper agricultural harvest in 2022, and for 13 years, Independence Day Parade was held in Maiduguri on Oct. 1, 2022.
He added “So are the exploits of the Armed Forces in other theatres of operation also resounding. Irrespective of the security challenges confronting the nation, and the way they mutate, the armed forces continue to build requisite capabilities through the support of the federal government.
“Whilst there were 48 piracy/armed robbery related incidents in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 2018, 35 in 2019, 35 in 2020 and 6 in 2021, there was none in 2022.
“This was not due to willful thinking, but due to dogged efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and availability of the critical assets provided. The truth about the Armed Forces is therefore a professional one rooted in its desire to meeting its constitutional imperatives,” Akpor stated.
He, therefore urged the media to extend the same support given him to his predecessor to enable him discharge his responsibility.
Bragadier General Gusau, before the new position, had held several positions and attended many courses at different levels.
His profile obtained by Security Watch Africa (SWA) reads “General Gusau held several military appointments both at home and abroad.
“Notably among them are; he was a Lecturer at the department of Political Science and Defence Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna; Army Public Relations Officer (APRO), 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi; Army Public Relations Officer, 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri; Military Public Information Officer, United Nations Mission in Liberia.
Army Public Relations Officer, Guards Brigade, Abuja; Deputy Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), Lagos; Deputy Director, Army Public Relations (DDAPR) 7 Division, Nigerian Army under Operation (OPERATION ZAMAN LAFIYA) and was the Pioneer Media Coordinator, Theatre Command Operation (LAFIYA DOLE) in the North East.
“Until his recent appointment as the Acting Director Defence Information, he was the Acting Director Protocol Army Headquarters Department of Special Services and Programmes.”
General Gusau, was also the Public Relations and Liaison Officer to the former Honourable Minister of Defence, Brig Gen MM Dan-Ali (retired).
“His service at the Ministry of Defence gave him the rare privilege to the insight and understanding of issues and factors that have shaped Nigeria’s Defence policy direction.
It added “He was appointed a Research Fellow at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Abuja. General Gusau proceeded to the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos where he attended Senior Executive Course 43 and was conferred with Member of National Institute.
“The senior officer has attended several military and professional courses commensurate with his rank both at home and abroad. Notably among them are; Young Officer Course (YOC), Infantry, Jaji; Media Operations Course at Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana; Logistics Management Course at the Nigerian Army College of Logistics (NACOL), Lagos; Strategic Communications and Public Relations Course at International School Of Communication, London and Harvard Kennedy Strategic Leadership Course in the United States of America to mention but a few.”
On his early life, the profile stated “Brigadier General Tukur Ismaila Gusau, was born on January 9, 1969 in the city of Gusau, Zamfara State.
“Brigadier General Gusau was commissioned into the Nigerian Army after his cadetship training at the Nigerian Defence Academy on September 25, 1993. He was posted to the Directorate of Army Public Relations (DAPR).
“He bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and a Master of Science degree in International Relations from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“He also obtained a Diploma in Public Relations at National Institute for Public Information (NIPI) in Kaduna.
“General Gusau attended University of Leicester, United Kingdom and bagged a Doctorate degree (PhD) in Management.”
Apart from publishing books and essays, General Gusau, also authored book titled “A Collection of Speeches: Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali” as a handy reference document on Defence and strategic studies to enrich knowledge and deepen understanding of Nigeria’s national defence policy thrust in the context of global peace.
“In the course of his military career, he has the following honours and awards; Force Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), United Nations (UNMIL) Medal, Nigeria Silver Jubilee Medal, Nigeria Centenary Medal, Operation Zaman Lafiya Medal, Operation Lafiya Dole Medal, River Niger Medal, Fellow Nigerian Army Resource Centre and Member National Institute (mni).
“He is a member of the following reputable professional bodies; Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Harvard Centre for Environmental Research and Education, United States of America and Leicester Centre of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, United Kingdom.
“At his leisure time, the senior officer enjoys reading, travelling and jugging. General is happily married and the union is blessed with children.” It stated.