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JOS: Jang urges restraint from media, leaders

From right: Former Plateau State Governor, Chief Joshua Dariye discussing with NIREC Co-chairmen, President Christian Association of Nigeria, ArchBishop John Onaiyekan and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III at the opening of the consultative meeting between the Federal Government, National Inter-religious Council and Plateau Leaders on the recent sectarian crisis in Jos at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja.

By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA—GOVERNOR Jonah Jang of Plateau State, yesterday, accused the Nigerian press and prominent leaders of fuelling the recent sectarian crisis that rocked the state.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents shortly after stakeholders meeting presided over by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Jang blamed Nigerian leaders for impatience and accused the press of bastardizing the whole country.

He said: “One of the major problems we have as a nation is the fact that our leaders are not patient to wait and hear two sides of a story before they make statements that will either help solve the problem or help to inflame the problem itself.

Free press in developed nations

“I want to plead that we should seriously take note of that. And again I also want to say that I have had the privilege as a Nigerian to travel to so many countries. As free as the press is in developed nations, they have the interest of their nations and there are certain things they don’t just publish because they want to protect the interest and the integrity of their nation.

But our press thinks the way to do journalism is to bastardize the whole country in the face of the whole world, calling leaders all sorts of names. They just write anything that will just help them sell their papers or promote their various media houses.”

The governor, therefore, appealed to the press to exercise the highest degree of restraint while reporting issues of national security and other sensitive matters; stressing “this nation is our nation and we have no other nation, whether we are pressmen, we are governors, or president, traditional rulers or we are whatsoever, we have no other nation.”

He warned that, “if this nation burns, it will burn all of us. And I think the press should play an important role in bringing unity to this nation and know that certain things should be discussed within us as a nation before it is sold to the whole world because we want to say we are the freest press in the whole world.”

While commending Vice President Goodluck Jonathan for the Federal Government’s role in restoring normalcy to Plateau, he was also grateful that the Vice President decided to convene the stakeholders meeting.

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