By Jessica Onyegbula
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on Tuesday, advocated complete elimination of North and South dichotomy for Nigerians to enjoy true democracy.
Kaigama made the call while speaking with newsmen at a conference in Abuja, on ”Understanding the mind of the Church on media and communication,” organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).
He said that the serious difference between Muslims and Christians favouring one group or the other, should be totally discouraged, for Nigerians and Nigeria to flourish.
The Archbishop stressed that instead of Nigerians favouring one another based on religion or ethnic sentiments, merit and hard work should be the criterion guiding Nigerians.
According to Kaigama, Nigeria has little freedom of speech, but the freedom to enjoy one’s life and be happy, is what Nigerian leaders need to work on, so that Nigerians would enjoy true democracy.
“Our democracy is a mixture of so many types of government. We have the traditional style of leadership, the dictatorial type of rulership and elements of democracy that are brought into it.
”So, it gives us something different from the conventional democracy. But whatever it is, we should be free and happy, we should have enough.
“Our children should go to schools that are good and attend medical facilities that are very good and people should be free to move around,” the Archbishop said.
On the issue of ban of Twitter, Kaigama said that the country needs the social media because of its importance to the populace.
He stressed that what should be banned was the wrong use and not the media itself.
“We need this social media, they are so important. What we need is to stress that they communicate what is authentic, genuine and what is going to foster harmony, social cohesion and promote values.
“That is what we want, not to ban them. But to promote them and ensure that people use this media correctly.
“The wrong use of the media is what we should ban, not the media itself. This means a lot to Nigerians and it is a very genuine source of communication that should be allowed.
”I think it is very important that they resolve whatever the problem is and quickly lift the ban. So that people with economic and political interest can use it effectively, in order to promote progress,” he said.
Most Rev Denis Isizoh, Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese and Chairman, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Social Communications, said that no matter the situation Nigerians find themselves, there are beautiful sides and tremendous growth recorded.
According to him, there are positive and negative sides and there are things Nigerians have done well in the past years.
“In respect to our democracy, if you look at Nigeria, things have improved, but there are challenges. However, we have to keep on experimenting and making efforts to see how we can improve. We thank God for democracy and how far we have gone.
The Director of Social Communications, CSN, Fr Mike Umoh, who hailed Nigeria media for their hard work, encouraged media practitioners to practice unifying journalism.
Umoh urged them to go to the field and listen to the people not sitting in the comfort of their homes to conclude or generate stories. (NAN)