Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has accused some politicians of causing disunity in the country for selfish reasons.
Governor Amosun, therefore, called on the media ahead of the 2019 general elections, to project more of the things that unite than divide us as a nation.
He said this at the 2018 Media Workshop of the State House Press Corps with the theme: “The Role of The Media in Peace Building: 2019 in Perspective”, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to him, the role of the media in 2019 cannot be over-emphasised, while urging them to write more about those things that would unite the country especially at a time peaceful coexistence is so much needed.
The governor added that there was no nation without its challenges, but he maintained that projecting inflammatory remarks could hamper development. He advised that things that would threaten the peace of the nation should be played down but not at the expense of not telling those in power where they are missing it.
Amosun added that politicians use dichotomy, religion and ethnicity when it suits them urging that the media ignore such people.
The governor who welcome the press corps to the state he described as the the root of journalism, in Nigeria, said his administration was building on he foundation laid by giants of the state before now.
Amosun said, “You are the people who see the entire Nigeria. These are trying times really, these are challenging times and is good to see people who are still doing their jobs professionally.
“I want to challenge you to do more. I like the theme of your workspace but after deliberations share the outcomes with others so that we can learn. Share your thoughts with us, use your platforms to tell us the truth.
“Write what you see because for me criticism is part of what a leader needs once it is in good fate. For me when you say it the way it is even though sometimes we may not like it, but we can look at it and see how we can do it better, I believe if we all do that Nigeria will be better for it.
“I like the theme of your workshop which is theme: “The Role of The Media in Peace Building: 2019 in Perspective”, and for me one word that stands out which we need right now is peace. That is why I said earlier that these are challenging times and you need to write more on those things that units us than those things that fragment and divide us.
“There is no nation without its challenges, is the way we manage our challenges really. When we have issues we should not come out and say what will inflame the country or through write ups and comments, I think we should talk more on those things that unite us.
“When you look at us as a nation, I hope I will not be roasted for saying this, it is we the elites or politicians that are more often than not for selfish reasons that try and bring those things that will divide us. An average Nigerian either from the north, south, east, west l are their brother’s keeper really. But when people want to be mischievous they now bring dichotomy, ethnicity, religion and all of those.
“I think where we are as a nation we should be above board. When things are not going well we should be bold enough to say we should do these things differently but when we are speaking we should measure our words. That’s not a sign of weakness really but sign of strength if we do those things that unites us as a nation. And I think that is the issue.
“I’m not saying don’t write about it, write it but it must be measured. Is like getting to an accident scene and you see pictures of people dying even for the families of those affected, it will not be good. Yes, we can still report but we can still manage to get the message across without necessarily fanning the ember of things that will split us.
“I have always argued that there is no way the part will be bigger than the whole if the whole is well put together and that is where our strength lies as a nation really.
“Our diversity and population is our strength, this should strengthen not weaken us.
“Tell us the things we are doing that are not right and project the ones we are doing write as well. It will help us not shack in our responsibilities as our people will be the beneficiaries.”
While commending the media for the support given to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari so far, he again stressed the need to shun sensationalism and things that will fan the embers of discord.
Amosun who said the population of the state currently stands at 7.2 million but increases to about 10 million during religious activities in the state.
“We are 7.2 million but the population increases to about 10 million during religious activities in the state. We see challenges as avenue for opportunities that is why we are leveraging on our proximity to Lagos. As a matter of fact we are the religious capital of Nigeria because when they are having Shiloh by Winners Chapel, Holy Ghost Congress by The Redeemed Christian Church, Power Must Change Hands by Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), Deeper Life, Foursquare Church, NAFSAT, so we benefit from prayers as well as from the necessary payments they are making to the state.”