MRA seeks peace building through radio
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has called on Nigerians to use radio as a tool to build peace across political, economic, religious and ethnic divides, particularly now that Nigeria is holding general elections.
The programme director, Mr. Ayode Longe, made the call yesterday in commemoration of the eighth World Radio Day.
The day is set aside by the United Nations to celebrate radio as a medium to enhance international cooperation between broadcasters and to encourage networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.
Longe said, “Radio has touched billions of lives around the world positively and made a lot of impact; and with the convergence of technology, this impact is expanding. The world needs to explore every avenue to strengthen radio and make it a tool for dialogue, tolerance and peace, in line with the theme for the 2019 celebration of the World Radio Day.”
With growing crises across the globe, Longe added, “The world needs peace through tolerance and dialogue, and radio, being the cheapest and farthest reaching means of communication, is so much suited to bring peace to the world. Technological advancement has made radio portable and its signals accessible from remote areas using different gadgets and devices, including even the most basic mobile phones available today.”
He further identified the importance of radio and how it could be used to promote peace, noting that it is a medium used to foster participation and engagement in local languages; the first medium people turn to for information and updates about just anything including during natural disasters, wars, as well as communal, national and political activities of all hues.
“Radio is unarguably the widest reaching medium of communication in Nigeria, as it is in most parts of the world. It has become cheap to acquire and maintain, very portable and is a highly ubiquitous means of receiving real time information, entertainment and education,” he added.
The programme director described this year’s theme, ‘Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace’, as very appropriate, coming during Nigeria’s general elections, which had been characterised by violence in the past.
For credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria, there is need for tolerance from everybody, especially the political actors and their most ardent supporters, as dialogue will enhance understanding and tolerance, which will ultimately bring about peace, he said.
He called on all Nigerians, particularly broadcasters, to use radio to douse tension and ensure peace, reminding them that radio has the potential to stoke violence as well as build peace.
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