The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has challenged journalists to use their profession in fostering peace in the country.
He made this charge yesterday at a public lecture organised by the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja to mark the 52nd World Communications Day in Abuja, on Friday.
The event, with the theme: “Journalism for Peace: the Nigerian Example”, had among other dignitaries, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Chairman, Pinnacle Communications Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa and Rev. Fr. George Ehusani.
Adesina, who was represented on the occasion by Mr. Attah Esa, said that it was the duty of journalists to ensure government achieved its objectives by not saying anything that will incite one particular section of the country against another.
“Being the spokesperson of the government that is in power, the theme of peace is very important, given where we are in the country at this time. Not too long ago, it was difficult for us to go and worship in our different Churches because of fear of attack.
“We are still battling with the issue of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen and government is doing it best to address these issues.
“When we have a breach of security, it is a distraction to the government because the scarce resources that ought to be channeled towards improving infrastructures and social needs of the people, will be diverted to restoring peace.
On his part, Cardinal Onaiyekan said that the media was awash with stories being shared without verification of whether they are true or would help in bringing anything positive to people.
“Sharing information is for a useful purpose that will lead to a positive outcome. If you receive something that makes you angry, why go ahead to share it?
“Is it that you want to share anger, so that the whole nation is subjected to anger? If the whole nation is flooded with anger, who is going to search for peace? We have to be careful how we share these things. Even if things are true, we should not share it if it is not helpful,” he said.