….calls for national integration, dialogue
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- A nongovernmental called Nation 1st Foundation, NFF, yesterday, urged media organisations in the country to avoid promotion of hate speeches on their platforms.
Expressing dismay on the ongoing war of hate speeches from personalities, socio-political leaders, politicians, groups, religious and regional leaders, the National Coordinator, NFF, Onianwa Elidad, also acknowledged the role played by media organisations in shaping the destiny of the country during and after colonialism, struggle for restoration of democracy on May 29, 1999, checking politicians and protecting downtrodden Nigerians, but said they should avoid any tendency to allow those who spread hate use their platform to marshal out divisive speeches to overheat the polity.
He said, “We in Nation 1st Foundation has become very concerned with the speedy hate speeches are moving on media platforms following agitations calling for secession and quit notice.
“We are urging media organisations to avoid these hate speakers and writers under any organisation to promote division and acrimony in the name of activism and struggle.
“We know they bring money to pay for adverts and sponsor special publications and productions on hate speeches, but we are appealing that such hate speeches should be taken off the list of adverts and news items for publication for the sake of national interest.”
Meanwhile, the National Public Relations Officer, NFF, Mohammed Ali, disclosed that the Foundation has concluded plans to begin regional integration within the country based on dialogue and much understanding to create a strong bond among young people, religious and regional leaders, socio-cultural and political organisations that would foster peace, unity, equity and justice.
“We have deemed it necessary to put together various linkages that would project national interest based on regional integration cutting across various views, interests, organisations, regions and religions. We want to ensure that the long standing sentiments and barriers that have stunted the progress of our country are weeded out completely through values rebirth and restoration of patriotism.
“We also believe in the strength and impact of genuine dialogue. We will use this bridge to link and cement the proposed integration moves we are talking about because the people have to sit and speak out their differences and settle amicably on lasting solution that would protect the integrity of our sovereignty and nationhood.
“This would be all encompassing basically by the ‘common people’ whose interest has been hijacked by some few elites who pretend to represent the people but unfortunately have used that top project and negotiate basically about themselves and continue to suppress the voice of the majority.
“We are going to start this national assignment by ourselves without any sponsorship from anybody, and we believe it would further strengthen our unity and propel our progress as a country, which all would have access to the common good of our blessed nation endowed by God”, Ali stated.