The federal government has called on heads of all its public information agencies to redouble their efforts and restore unity and patriotism back into the country.
The minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja when he received the heads of the information parastatals under his ministry who came on a courtesy visit.
The minister who warned that the times ahead would be tough said they must be prepared for agents of destabilisation adding that “it is time to douse down the tone of disunity through your powerful platforms.”
“In particular, this coterie of DGs here holds in their hands the destiny of this country, because you have the responsibility to tone down the hostility and hatred that are threatening to engulf the country today.
“You all have very powerful platforms to douse down the tension of disunity and I think you have the responsibility, not only to Mr. President and this nation, but also to generations unborn to use your powerful platforms to restore unity back into the country.
“You should use your platforms to promote, not just unity but also cordial relations among all groups, irrespective of ethnicity or religion,” he said.
He added: “The information sector is not just the minister alone, the sector is only coordinated and headed by the minister. The parastatals are also very crucial to the success of the ministry. Therefore as I congratulate myself on the reappointment, I think we should congratulate ourselves on our reappointments.
“It means Mr. President has confidence in our modest efforts. Like I told the Directors of the ministry on Wednesday who also came to congratulate me, there is only one reward for hard work, it is only more work.
“The times ahead will be tough, but tough times don’t last but tough men do. We will seize the narratives and with your cooperation we can all rise to the occasion.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to you to redouble your efforts and ensure that we work together to take back from the naysayers in our country.
“There is no other powerful platform than the ones you all control or preside over, either as broadcasters or as regulators; so you can see the enormous responsibility on your shoulders.
“I think I have no doubts that together we can turn right the acrimony that is being promoted by the naysayers using platforms not as powerful or as far reaching as ours.
“In our own case, please we must realise that the unity of this country lies in our hands; we must seize and make efforts to control the narratives and give correct perception to, not just Nigerians but the entire world and I am sure we can achieve this.”
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, said the DGs came to congratulate the minister on his reappointment and to commit themselves to carrying out the mandate of their respective agencies.
The other members of the delegation are the Directors-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Mansur Liman; Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed; Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu; National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Isha’q Modibbo Kawu, and the Acting Director General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Mrs. Ndidi Aimienwaw.