Abuja - The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Garba Abari, has appealed to the media not to promote hate publications that are detrimental to the well-being of the country.
Abari, who made the appeal at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said that “peace is essential for meaningful development”.
He said in line with NOA mandate to orientate, sensitise and enlighten the public on government policies, it was NOA’s duty to take feedbacks to government.
He said the growth of hate publications were becoming worrisome, noting that the agency had observed with alarm, the growing hate narratives being put out in some Nigeria media platforms.
“This trend is presently over emphasising our national fault lines and pointing the attention of our countrymen and women to those things that divide rather than unite us.
“Nigerians are beginning to see themselves through religious, tribal and regional prisms, rather than as one people under one nation with a common destiny.
“The promoters of these hate narratives and those that subscribe to same, continue to plunge daggers into the soul and heart of our country and make citizens to be unpatriotic, which is a huge challenge to development.’’
Abari stressed that this time was not a period to for blame game but a time for all patriots to join hands with government to get out of the present economic recession.
He appealed to the Niger Delta Militants, Independent people of Biafra, Boko Haram and other agitating interest groups to have a rethink for the sake of the country and future generation.
He said they should shield their swords and embrace the option of constructive dialogue with the government.
Abari also call on the youths across the country to recognise the fact that hate could only lead to violence and loss of innocent lives and property.
The director-general said that the religious leaders too were not exempted from the call, adding that they should use their positions as spiritual heads to de-emphasise hate and violence among their followers.
“Traditional rulers should join hands with NOA to advocate for peaceful coexistence among their subjects. The issue of non-indigene should not be allowed in their domain.
“Every Nigerian has a right to reside wherever he/she deems necessary.”
He reiterated that Nigeria need peace to overcome all the damages plaguing it from different sections of the country.