Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday said that Nigeria and Nigerians have not appreciated the peace and unity existing in the country, which according to him, has been the source of strength and development.
‘’Apart from the challenge of terrorism, there is also the issue of national unity. If anything, we have taken our unity for granted and have not made conscious and concerted effort to constantly service and strengthen it.
The minister, who made the statement at a meeting with the representatives of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, National and FCT council, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Nigerian Guild of Editors and union members in government owned media in Abuja yesterday, said that terrorism which is being promoted by some unpatriotic citizens, is targeted at the root of the nation’s unity and existence.
He, therefore, solicited the support and collaboration of the media in churning out messages and content that would help in reshaping the mindset of the people particularly the youths, educating them on the importance of peaceful co-existence.
“Unfortunately, what started as a crack has widened into a gorge. The media must not remain on the fence when the issue of our national unity is involved. They must carry out their duties in such a way that will unite, rather than divide our people. Our unity is fragile, and the fragility comes into the open at a time of economic downturn as we have now. We cannot afford to be neutral on the issue of national unity,’’ he said.
‘’The war against terrorism is not a war for the military alone but for all Nigerians. The media must reflect this in their reporting, and also galvanize the people to know that it is not just a battle against a few insurgents but a war for the very survival of our nation.
“It is important for the media to report the fact that the military has turned the tide against the insurgents, degrading their ability to carry out spectacular attacks and retaking captured territories, thus paving the way for displaced persons to gradually return to their homes, for schools that have been destroyed to be rebuilt and for pupils who could not go to school to do so,” he said.
Meanwhile, NUJ President, Mr. Waheed Odusile has tasked the minister on the welfare of media workers that not only poorly paid, but owed salary arrears.
The President of the Radio, Television, Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria, RATTAWU, Dr Yemisi Bamgbose, pledged the support of RATTAWU.

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