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Accord priority to national interest in discharging your duties — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged media practitioners to intensify efforts in according priority to national interest in discharging their constitutional and professional duties.

He made the call on Tuesday in Kano at the opening of a two-day National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security: “The role of the media”, organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).

Mohammed was represented by the Director, International Cultural Relations in the ministry, Mrs Maimuna Idu-Lah.

“It is against this background that the role of critical stakeholders, especially the media, cannot be overemphasised.

“Skewed reporting, as well as the phenomenon of fake news, hate speech and misinformation has the capacity to worsen the security situation.

“They do not only create fear among the citizens but can also adversely affect the morale of our security personnel.

“We therefore appeal to our media practitioners to accord national interest priority in the discharge of their constitutional and professional duties,” he said.

Mohammed stressed the need for all and sundry to continue to join hands in the fight against security challenges bedeviling the country.

The minister noted that the marching order given by the president to security agents to hunt, pursue and speak to terrorists has started yielding positive results.

“The military has recorded successes in neutralising bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and other criminals across the country,” he said.

Mohammed said apart from investing heavily on purchasing security equipment, Mr President had sent to the National Assembly, bills on transmission of explosives, as well as, control of small arms and light weapons.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, NICO, Alhaji Ado Mohammed-Yahuza, said that neglect of culture or its nonrecognition had contributed largely to the failing of development agenda of most countries.

“Until culture is accorded its pride of place, meaningful development is likely to be a mirage. The way out of the quack mire is a well-articulated cultural rebirth programme,” he said.

Mohammed-Yahuza further said that the relationship between peace and sustainable national development could not be overemphasised.

“There can be no sustainable development in the absence of peace; unfortunately, lack of sustainable development is a threat to peace and security,” he said.

He said the institute had been organising conferences yearly to sensitise stakeholders to their important roles in the promotion of the culture and non violence in Nigeria.

The executive secretary said this year’s conference, focused on media, was an important stakeholder in the promotion of the culture of peace and non violence in Nigeria.

“We are convinced that the media can play a leading role in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria by consistently sensitising Nigerians to appreciate that there could not be development in an environment of violence and criminality,” he said.

It was reported that six lectures were expected to be presented by different scholars on different topics.

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Zubairu Idris

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