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Catholic bishops beg media to promote unity, peaceful co-existence

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja) and Timothy Agbor (Osogbo)
17 May 2021   |   4:05 am
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Chairman on Social Communications and Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh...

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Chairman on Social Communications and Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh, has urged the media to use the instruments of communication to promote love, unity and peace in the country.

He noted that this was a difficult period for most Nigerians, considering the high level of insecurity with attendant fears, ethnic conflicts and separatist tendencies.

The cleric, who gave the advice, yesterday, at a mass to mark the 2021 World Communication Day in Abuja, observed that fake news is aggravating the security problem in the country, adding that some people misuse communication instruments to spread falsehood, fake news, and hurtful messages, thereby promoting hatred and violence in the society.

Isizoh, therefore, urged the media to ensure objectivity, decency and balance in their reportage and avoid sensationalism, which ends up creating more problems for the country.

Also speaking, Director Social Communication of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Mike Umoh, observed that the media have played a huge role right from Independence to the present democratic dispensation.

Umoh noted that communication is important in the development of any nation, adding that it has always been the position of the Church that communication is primarily for and about the good of the human person and advancement of his society; while the media tools are only relevant as long as they serve the purpose of fostering this important human need and the advancement of human society.

ALSO, in a related event at Osogbo, the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Most Rev John Oyejola, has described Nigerian journalists as heroes and saints who risk their lives daily in the course of discharging their duties for the development of the nation.

Oyejola, who spoke while rendering his homily at a thanksgiving mass to mark the day at St Benedict Cathedral, Osogbo, charged media practitioners to always ensure they verify all information before dissemination, adding that without communication, the world would be chaotic.

He said: “World Day of Communications is a day to celebrate media men and women. Communication is the live wire of human existence. Without communications, the world will be chaotic.

“Journalists are our heroes. They deserve respect, commendation in very special ways. They are our heroes and saints. Social Communicators are also appreciated.

“I want to urge you all (journalists) to be actively involved in your profession by trying to move beyond the complacent manner and meet the people to feel their pulse before reporting.

Open your eyes to what you see, your hands must touch the vitality of things and you must ensure that you report only the truth.”