FG tasks media to promote peace, unity through social media
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has enjoined the country’s broadcast media to constructively make use of the social media contents with great sense of patriotism for peace and unity of Nigeria.
Speaking at the fifth yearly lecture of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), in Abuja, the minister lamented that the information space had in recent times been flooded with contents that test the unity and peace of the country, adding that some of these contents, which are unverified, find their ways into the mainstream media.
He observed that broadcasters are expected to encourage the populace to partner with the government in finding solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the country from corruption, infrastructural deficits to criminality.
The minister recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in an effort to make the broadcast industry robust, approved wide-ranging reforms, including licensing of online radio and television stations and also the review of the Broadcast Code to bring it in line with current realities.
He expressed the determination of the Buhari led-administration to work with the media as partners in progress in nation building.
In his keynote address, Director, Directorate of Linkages and Collaboration, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Prof. Adam Ahmed, observed that Nigeria is faced with multidimensional challenges, adding that the sovereignty of Nigeria had been compromised at different times by forces operating within and outside the country in forms of Maitatsine, Boko Haram, MEND, NDAv, OPC, Shiites, Herdsmen/Farmer, kidnapping and banditry.
He noted that the greatest challenge militating against the Nigerian state is the enthronement of bad political leadership, adding that the conduct of affairs so far through presidential democracy since 1999 has engendered unrepresentative, political authoritarianism, endemic corruption and economic exclusivity.
Ahmed, who argued that the current regime under President Buhari came in 2015 and recently 2019 with popular acclaim, said the challenges are still compelling, stressing that while non- earthquakes corruption still pervades, the existence of increasing unemployment, primitive banditry and recurring Boko Haramism shows that Nigeria is extremely far away from enviable and developmental good governance and accountability
According to him, “one major immediate factor which has enhanced insecurity in Nigeria is the porous frontiers of the country, where individual movements are largely untracked. The porosity of Nigeria’s borders has serious security implications for the country.”
He noted that Nigeria is under attacks from the rise of the demand for greater decentralisation by its federating units and even by the mega-cities under its jurisdiction .
Ahmed stressed that the broadcast industry should be in the forefront of promoting national unity and integration above premodial cleavages .
He said, “there is no better time than now that Nigeria is faced with several challenges of nation building. Nigeria simply needs the broadcast media and the broadcast media needs Nigeria and Nigerians. Each cannot survive without the other. While broadcast serves as watchdog of the society through critical reportage but it must support strong national stability, national cohesion , integration and legitimate national leadership.”
According to him, “broadcast stations must know that the role they play in the society is extremely sensitive and desist from emphasizing conflict points, interpreting events to cause disaffection and acrimony but rather express social responsibilities that would invariably sustain the growth of nation-state, aid the political terrain, and eliminate friction in human relationships and other sectors of the country.”
In his speech, the Director General of NBC, Mallam Modibbo Kawu, said the objectives of broadcasting, and without ambiguity, requested that it must contribute to the development of national unity and participatory democracy and also promote social justice based on the responsibilities and rights of the individuals in the society.
He observed that broadcasters have an obligation to conduct programming and news, as well as commentaries in manners that would aid the efforts to confront the challenges that face the Nigerian State and society.
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