The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has called on journalists to use their profession to save Nigeria from impending catastrophe.
Mr Adesina made the appeal in a keynote address he presented at the 25th anniversary and public presentation of Comet Magazine by the Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikwe University (UniZik), Awka, on Thursday.
Represented by Prof. Nnaemeka Agbanu of Chukwuemeka Odomegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Adesina said the media have the capacity to promote peace and can also cause civil unrest.
“The Rwanda genocide which resulted to the death of over a million people was triggered off by two local radio stations in that country.
“In recent times, all we witness in the nation’s media are misleading headlines and this is capable of exposing the nation to grave danger if not checked,” he cautioned.
Mr Adesina advised the media practitioners to use the profession to enhance the bond of unity and overall development of the country.
The Vice Chancellor of UniZik, Charles Esimone, said that the silver jubilee celebration marked the commencement of the unbundling of the department to a full fledged faculty.
He also urged mass communicators to use the instruments at their disposal for the good of the nation and commended the department for it giant strides.
The Head of Department, Mass Communication, UniZik, Chinwe Uzochukwu, said the event was organised to review the 25 years journey of the department.
She announced that the department planned to upgrade to a faculty of Communication and Media Studies which would now have eight departments.
The Chairman of the event and Editorial board member of Guardian newspapers, Ifeanyi Mbanefo, in a remark advised students of the department to approach their future challenges with courage.
He said though there were storms, those who face the future with determination and graduation would certainly excel.
Newsmen report that the event, attended by traditional rulers, politicians, students and members of the alumni of the department, was used for award presentation to some deserving Nigerians.