Na­tional unity tops fo­cus of FRCN’s lec­ture

Sunday Trust - - MEDIA - By Lat­i­fat Opoola

The Fed­eral Ra­dio Cor­po­ra­tion of Nige­ria (FRCN) An­nual Lec­ture pro­vided a plat­form for dis­course on need for na­tional unity.

Me­dia events usu­ally pro­vide av­enues for na­tional dis­course and brain-storm­ing and the 2017 FRCN An­nual Lec­ture, was no ex­cep­tion. The theme of the lec­ture “The Role of the Me­dia in pro­mot­ing Na­tional Unity and Pro­duc­tiv­ity” was apt for me­dia per­son­al­i­ties and guests to air their views on mat­ters that af­fected Nige­ria.

The guest lec­turer and for­mer co-founder and manag­ing ed­i­tor, Newswatch mag­a­zine, Lagos, Dan Agbese, ex­plained that it was im­pos­si­ble for a re­pressed me­dia to part­ner with na­tion builders be­cause their role is ded­i­cated to the pub­lic good and hence must not be taken for granted. Agbese, who is the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, May­five Me­dia Lim­ited, ap­pealed to Nige­ri­ans to ap­proach na­tional unity as a process rather than a project.

He said the role of the me­dia in the process of na­tional unity is to tell the truth at all times, point­ing out that at­ten­tion placed on the me­dia is not mis­placed.

Ac­cord­ing to him, what­ever might be our per­sonal at­ti­tude to­wards the me­dia, it can­not be de­nied that it con­sti­tute an im­por­tant so­cial in­sti­tu­tion and play roles no­ble or ig­no­ble that af­fects all and the Nige­rian state it­self in al­most equal mea­sure.

The Head of Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion depart­ment, Baze Univer­sity, Abuja and one of the dis­cus­sants at the lec­ture, Dr Abio­dun Adeniyi, stated that the in­stru­ment of na­tional unity is not re­served only for the me­dia as it is a sec­tor within the multi sec­tors and has to work within the frame­work of other sec­tors. He ex­pressed reser­va­tions that it is of­ten take for granted that many per­sons un­der­stood the con­text of the me­dia.

Adeniyi noted that with ed­u­ca­tion, tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing, that is de­sired as a na­tion can be achieved us­ing the me­dia as one plat­form.

An­other dis­cus­sant, Bar­ris­ter Es­ther Uzoma, us­ing the woman as an ex­am­ple of unity, said that the Nige­rian woman is that per­son that leaves her home in the South-East, go to Maiduguri lives with a man and as­sumes a dif­fer­ent iden­tity. She be­lieves in this coun­try.

She said the me­dia cre­ates re­al­ity, de­fines beauty, pro­vide con­text, in­for­ma­tion, pro­voke and sus­tain in­ter­est in what­ever in­for­ma­tion was avail­able.

“Peo­ple in power make laws based on their per­cep­tion of re­al­ity and this re­al­ity is cre­ated by the press. The Nige­rian press in a sub­lim­i­nal level sculp­tures our minds,” she noted.

The guest speaker and Gov­er­nor of Kano State, Dr Ab­dul­lahi Gan­duje said the coun­try has crossed the red line few months ago where vested in­ter­ests, hate speeches and di­vi­sive ma­te­ri­als flooded the me­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to him, jour­nal­ists had an im­por­tant role to play in uni­fy­ing the coun­try.

He said if Barack Obama can be­cause Pres­i­dent of USA, there was hope for Nige­ria, hope for the Idoma man and hope for the man from South­ern Kaduna to be­come Gov­er­nor of Kaduna State with­out po­lit­i­cal ac­ci­dent.

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral, Fed­eral Ra­dio Cor­po­ra­tion of Nige­ria, (FRCN), Dr Mansur Li­man, said dis­course in Nige­ria move from pro­tect­ing the in­di­vid­ual, to pro­tect­ing the whole and from sen­ti­men­tal ut­ter­ances that have fur­ther di­vided the coun­try.

He said the me­dia must be up and about in re­duc­ing ig­no­rance in the so­ci­ety and bring to the fore, the need for unity in di­ver­sity. Li­man said the new me­dia must play by the rules, while tra­di­tional me­dia must con­tinue to spread love, pro­vide a clear pic­ture of hap­pen­ings and re­duce ig­no­rance.

Dan Agbese pre­sent­ing his pa­per at the lec­ture

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