The recently appointed Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, has taken over command as the 23rd spokesperson for the Nigerian Army.
He assumed command today, in a colourful ceremony held at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.
Until his appointment, the Delta State-born one-star general was the acting Director, Defence Information (DDI) at the Defence Headquarters.
Speaking during the handing and taking over the ceremony, Brigadier General Nwachukwu thanked the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Major General Faruq Yahaya for finding him worthy to be appointed the Army Spokesman.
He congratulated the outgoing Director, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima for a successful tour of duty.
General Nwachukwu noted that the era of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has made it easier for speedy dissemination of information to the general public stressing that it has brought about additional challenges to information managers.
He revealed that strengthening Military -Media relationship is his topmost priority, even as he extolled the media for supporting Nigerian Army Operations through balanced reportage.
He further charged the media to remain committed in the discharge of their professional duties by adhering to the ethics of journalism.
He pledged to evolve measures and potent ways that could improve and strengthen the existing relationship between the Nigerian Army and the Media, with a view to consolidating on the gains already made in the ongoing war against insurgency, terrorism, banditry, Kidnapping and insurrection amongst other sundry crimes in the country.
He added that the NA under the leadership of Major General Faruq Yahaya would continue to value the partnership and cooperation of the media and other institutions with mutual respect and cordiality.
Earlier in his valedictory speech, the immediate past Director, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, congratulated the Director on his appointment and wished him a successful tour of duty.
He commended Officers, Soldiers and Civilian Staff of the Directorate for their loyalty, support and commitment. He further enjoined them to extend the same to the new Army Spokesman.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu was born on 15 June 1968 in Ibadan but however, hails from Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
He is an alumnus of the University of Ibadan, holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Post Graduate School, Kaduna.
He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from the International Institute of Journalism Abuja. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
Since his commission into the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Nwachukwu has attended several military and professional courses, as well as seminars within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
These include; Deputy Spokesman/Media Operations Course at the Joint Information Activities Group, Royal Airforce, Halton United Kingdom and Special Operations Command Course at the Shijiazhuang Military Academy, China.
He has equally attended Strategic Communication Course at the Nigeria Army School of Public Relations and Information, Lagos and the Counter-Terrorism Course, at the Infantry Corps Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State.
The new Army Spokesman has served in various Units and Commands within and outside the NA.
He was Deputy Director Public Relations, Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE and 8 Task Force Division, Assistant Director Defence Information (NA), at the DHQ, Chief of Staff Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations, and Public Relations Officer Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
Additionally, he once served as the Media Coordinator, Joint Task Force Operation PULO SHIELD, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The new Spokesman participated in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) as Military Public Information Officer.
The handover ceremony was witnessed by Senior Officers and Staff of the Directorate of Army Public Relations, as well as the National President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, among several other dignitaries.
Highlights of the event were the signing of handing and taking over notes, presentation of the command flag and decoration of the new Director with insignia.