By Salisu Sani-Idris
Vice-President Kashim Shettima has urged broadcasters in the country to prioritise national unity in addressing the critical challenges in the country.
Shettima gave the advice on Wednesday when the Arewa Broadcast Media Practitioners Forum paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice-president identified poverty, insecurity and inclusivity as the major concerns demanding attention, saying, “these are more germane issues”.
Shettima pointed out that there are other issues bordering on drug abuse and maternal mortality.
“The nation is gradually being bifurcated into a prosperous south and a north that is in the news for the wrong reasons.
“We need to unite as a people and address our common challenges.”
Shettima, who expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu, urged fairness and a deeper understanding of Tinubu’s contributions to the north.
He cited the Pulaaku Initiative, a programme designed to address most of the challenges in the region as an example.
Quoting Martin Luther King, Shettima said: “The North must either learn to live together as brothers, or we are going to die together as fools.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the forum, Abdullahi Yelwa, stressed the need for collaboration between government and citizens to engender participatory democracy.
He stressed the importance of synergy in the collective efforts to move the country forward, offering the forum’s partnership.
Yelwa highlighted the vast reach of the region’s broadcasters, transmitting in various local languages like Hausa, Fulfulde, Nupe, Pidgin and Kanuri.
He expressed concern about the industry’s post-pandemic struggles.
“The current state of the broadcast industry portends danger. Since COVID-19, many stations have not recovered from the shortfall in advertisements.”
According to him, the broadcast industry is the largest and most important industry in managing the citizen’s perception of the government.
He argued that the trust deficit between the government and the governed could only be bridged through partnership with them.
Other members of the delegation included Abba Kaka, Madina Dauda-Nadabo, Mohammed Mustapha, Ben Shemang, Prof. Ladi Adamu and Talib Yelwa. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola