By Balarabe Oshiafi
Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd) has showered encomiums on online media and described the new media as proving to be demonstrating a competitive edge against traditional media.
Buratai, who is also Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, added that online media have become an instrument for growth of democracy because of its potential to hold politicians accountable.
Ambassador Buratai made the statement in a goodwill message in Abuja during the 7th Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP).
Represented by his Special Adviser and Director, Research and Documentation, at the Tukur Buratai Research Centre, Dr. MS Abubakar, the former Chief of Army Staff said that he had always valued the vitality of the online media in their reach, penetration, speed, and durability, describing new media “fulcrum of good governance”.
He said: “As we all consider the media to be the fourth estate of the realm, then the online component of the media should be compared to the Infantry Corps of an Army.
“To an Army, the Infantry is the Queen of Battle. Therefore I see the online publishers as the Queen of the Media.
“Real power revolves around the Queen.”
General Buratai went on to say that, unlike traditional or print media, online media can reach millions of people all over the world in minutes with just one click.
Because of its low cost, he maintained that online media has made a big contribution to informing, educating, and entertaining the general people.
While praising the adaptability of the online media, Buratai also pointed out some undesirable developments.
He cited what he called “the extensive use of propaganda, half-truths, manufactured lies, and fake news”, as unintended repercussions of the development.
He urged the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) to put a stop to those who violate its corporate objectives by standing firm and ensuring that all practitioners in the online media adhere to ethical standards and professionalism.
“I have a firm conviction that online media is a genuine instrument for the consolidation of our nation’s social fabric, the promotion of forward movement, the maintenance of peace and security, and the growth of our economy.
“Therefore, GOCOP should continue to assist us in sanitizing and standardizing the online media space to make it healthier and more effective.
“This vital domain will not be ceded to fifth columnists, bigots, and blackmailers”, he said.