Senate President Ahmad Lawan has challenged the Nigerian media as agenda setter, to provide positive context that would engender progressive assured future for the Nigerians.
Lawan made the call while was speaking at the 10th Anniversary and 2020 Impact Series Awards of Blueprint Newspapers in Abuja.
Lawan noted that the role of the media, being critical stakeholder in the Nigerian project, was crucial in averting national crises and anarchy.
He said its positive actions could douse tension across the country and ultimately stabilize the polity.
Lawan, who was Chairman at the event said efforts must be made by the media to provide proper context to issues, as doing so would in turn ensure national unity and reshape public opinion.
He called on the media practitioners to reaffirm their beliefs in Nigeria and rededicate themselves to their role as the fourth estate of the realm.
“That role requires them to responsibly moderate public conversation and debate, douse tension, resolve disputes including providing context for issues, and help in stabilizing the polity.
“In this age of information, the media plays a crucial role in creating national unity and remodeling of public opinions.
“It is true that public opinion is always disturbed during a crisis. But in such situations, the media can control the public emotions and public opinion with a positive attitude.
“Without positive attitude in the media, even the best efforts of policy makers and government cannot produce results.
“Let us remember that crisis is inevitable in society. Indeed, it drives development when properly managed.
“The Nigerian media must, therefore, always seek to help the nation turn its crises into wheels of progress.
“This they can do by providing useful information to calm the people and encourage them to do positive actions.
“In the current situation, the media should seek information only from credible sources in order to limit the spread of fake news.
“They should avoid information that is capable of inciting violence and reprisals.
“When law and order succumb to anarchy, even lawmakers, journalists and journalism are endangered”, Lawan said.
The Senate President commended Blueprint Newspaper for its patriotic desire to contribute positively towards building a stable democracy in Nigeria, as well as promoting unity, peace and prosperity.
“I consider your choice in this respect highly commendable, especially in the light of many around you losing their heads and reputation to the urge to bait clicks, with sensational headlines and odious stories that promote hate and division in the country”, he said.
On the unending security crises in the country, Lawan lamented its recent alarming dimension it had assumed especially killings, kidnappings and attacks on public facilities in many parts of the country.
“While government is forthright and unrelenting in its efforts to contain the security challenges, the crisis is certainly being aggravated by people cynically projecting our ethnic, religious, cultural and geographical diversities as the primary cause of political instability and social insecurity in Nigeria.”
On the ongoing constitution review, the Senate President said that the National Assembly had received hundreds of memoranda from across the country and many bills proposals for consideration.
According to him, the exercise seeks to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions such as the Legislature and the Judiciary at the national and subnational levels, the local government system, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society.
He explained that the move would check abuses and strife responsible for holding back the development of Nigeria’s economy and polity.(NAN)