Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, yesterday, slammed the Federal Government for not telling the true situation of things especially in the fight against insurgency, corruption and the state of the economy, insisting that most Nigerians are disenchanted with the continuous lies spread by the government.
The Cardinal, who stated this in Abuja at the 2018 World Communication Day organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, added that the government must be transparent in its dealings. The event which had the theme ‘Journalism for Peace: The Nigerian example,’ was first observed on May 7, 1967.
According to Onaiyekan “there is a perception that we are always told lies and when you have that perception going round the nation, it is very bad because even when the government is telling the truth Nigerians will not believe.
“Therefore, it is important that the government make sure that it keeps telling the nation the truth. There is a limit to which political propaganda can strive.”
He further advised journalists, especially, social media users to desist from sharing especially, unpalatable information on social media platforms which could be misconstrued and steer crises.
“We need to be careful what we share. Even if it is true, they should not be shared. Obviously, fake news that we are talking about are information that are not true and which mimics the truth. If stories are true and are not helpful, they should not also be shared.
“I believe that whatever we share must be good and true. And that is why it is necessary for us to distinguish between truth and fact.” Onaiyekan also affirmed that the country was going through trials but insisted that instead of the citizens to keep lampooning, they should seek solutions.
“We have a lot of problems in this nation and we have every reason to be angry. But what we should be doing is thinking of ways to resolve our problems.” Not done, he admonished Christians to also forgive one another if they want to move forward.
“Forgiveness is an essential ingredient for peace if we want to move forward. Pursuing justice alone may not bring us peace.”
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, described the challenges facing the country as a clog in the wheel of the administration’s progress.
Adesina, who was represented by Attah Esa, a Director in the presidency added that Nigerians should support the administration to move the country forward.
Keynote speaker, Fr George Ehusani, said for journalists to glow enviably, they must strive to overcome ethnicity and religious bigotry, cultural mediocrity, indolence and scandals of ‘brown envelope’.
“Media houses must ensure that the welfare of journalists is provided. Because journalism is not just a job but a vocation,” Ehusani added.