Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has urged the Nigerian media to downplay activities of the Boko Haram sect because the insurgents have succeeded in creating fear in the minds of the citizens through media reports.
Ekweremadu made the appeal on Wednesday night while delivering the maiden lecture organised by the Senate Press Corps in Abuja.
He described terrorism as a mind game with the primary purpose of instilling fear in the minds of the people by carrying out acts of destruction of human lives and property to give a negative impression.
To achieve this, he said the insurgents employed the use of propaganda, through the media, to misinform the public. “That is why even when a gas cylinder explodes in any part of the country, the insurgents claim responsibility for it, all in their desperate bid to assert themselves.
“If there is an encounter in which they lost 100 men and the military lost four men, they strive to upturn the story to sell to the nation a false story of invulnerability on their part.
“It is against this backdrop that I sincerely wish to call on the media to see through this propaganda and refuse to help them market their falsehood.
“The battle we face is for the territorial integrity of Nigeria and the safety of her people. Our story lines, headlines and analyses should reflect that overriding national interest.
“At a time like this, the press is expected to boost the confidence of the nation, the morale of our gallant soldiers and security operatives in the warfronts and celebrate the superiority of our firepower,” he said.
Ekweremadu urged the Nigerian press to catalyse national consciousness and rally Nigerians to work together against the common enemies such as terrorism and other manifestations of evil and extreme danger in the land.
Ekweremadu equally lamented the corruption in the judiciary, stressing that it was the worst thing to happen to the nation. “If the foundation of justice is destroyed, what then can the righteous do? How does a nation or continent grow under such weight of corruption? We are already reaping from the dangers thereof in the forms of terrorism, militancy and kidnapping, among others,” he said.
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who also attended the lecture, noted that the media could still be the last defender of the Nigerian democracy because they were recognising and promoting service, good governance and integrity.
Fayemi urged members of the media to sustain their efforts.
He said: “If you are an intellectual, you are an elite and an elite is what should be thrown into the dustbin not to be associated with. But the media could still be the last defender of the Nigerian democracy.”
Posted By Valentino Godwin