Cleric urges media to promote nation’s diversity for unity, tolerance in reporting
THE Archbishop of Jos Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese (Anglican Communion), Bishop Emmanuel Kana Mani, has called on journalists in Nigeria to “promote and sustain togetherness” of Nigerians in their reporting instead of fanning the embers of sectional, tribal or religious interests.
Rev. Mani, who gave the advice to journalists in Maiduguri at the weekend during a media parley to commemorate his 25 years bishop-hood in Borno State, said the media is very critical in nation-building.
His words: “It is for this reason that I am urging all of you here today for this important media parley to be socially-committed to peaceful co-existence of Nigerians by de-emphasising the nation’s heterogeneous make-up. Continue to emphasise togetherness and de-emphasise those things that divide us as a nation. God will cover all of you with the umbrella of protections against any evil.
“Journalists should continue to emphasis on our togetherness now than before. You should de-emphasis our differences and dichotomy. Anything outside creating peaceful environment would be inimical to the progress of Nigeria and individuals.”
The cleric, who said the Boko Haram crisis has created some suspicion among people but warned journalists not to help amplify any primordial sentiments in their reportage, said he had enjoyed good relationship with many Islamic scholars in his 25 years as a bishop in Borno State though not an indigene of the state.
“Often time, we exchange telephone calls even while they are performing their hajj. Many of them visit me as a show of love,” he said.
He also urged religious leaders, particularly the Christians and Muslims, to “preach peace at all time and leave judgment to God.”
Mani, who commended journalists in the state for their support to him throughout the past 25 years, said: “I was also impressed by the courage of all of you here today in the state for staying around to report happenings to the world in the heat of Boko Haram crisis.”
He said history would be kind to them for drawing the attention of the world to the persistent killings going on while several other people have fled in fear.
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