The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim has challenged professional bodies and scholars to evolve policies and programmes that would entrench core values of society back to the nation’s psyche.
Nsirim gave the charge while speaking at the 8th annual conference of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN), in Port Harcourt, today, 1/9/2021.
Referencing on the theme of the conference: Media and Citizens Participation in Governance for Accountability and Peace in Society, Nsirim noted that citizens could not participate in governance for the nation achieve accountability and peace where there are no values to build on .
“The dilemma of the Nigerian nation is that our values are dead. Those values of honesty, hardwork and integrity no longer form the fulcrum as what society should put as foundation for building our society.
“Professionals in the communication and education are found in a helpless situation. But I believe strongly and I share this optimism with a lot of people that I see a better Nigeria,” he said.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the ways Nigerians celebrate people who make wealth through questionable means . He therefore, urged participants in the conference to work out ways through which Nigerians could begin to look at restoring the lost values of hardwork and merit.
“Let all Nigerians understand that the way to build a better Nigeria where every citizen will have a sense of belonging no matter your creed, no matter your religion, no matter your tribe, no matter your sex, should be built on this long lost values,” he said.
In his keynote address, Dr. Jossy Nkwocha expressed worry that some radio stations use their phone-in programmes to promote ethnic profiling, making inflammatory statements on issues.
According to him, some of the reporting clearly shows lack of professional crisis reporting skills while some were laced with ethnic, political and religious bias that undermines national peace and security.
Dr. Nkwocha who deliberated on the theme: The Role of the Media in Accountable Governance and Sustainable Peace in Society, called on the ACSPN, UNESCO, BON and NBC to organise training and retraining programmes for mass media practitioners and crisis reporting and peace building skills.
He also recommended that mass media practitioners should be courageous to draw public attention to the fundamental objectives contained in chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended for which the Constitution wants the mass media to hold government accountable.
Special Assistant (Media),
Honourable Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State.