Leadership (Abuja)

6 February 2013

Nigeria: Use Social Media to Promote Equitable Society - Archbishop

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins on Wednesday urged Nigerians to promote a just and equitable society through social media.

Martins gave the advice at the conference of the Association of Directors of Social Communication of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, held at the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Convent Ikeja, Lagos.

The conference has as its theme: "Social Networks, portal of truth and faith, new space for evangelisation. "

"Nigeria as a nation has passed true trying times, truth seems to have been slaughtered on the alter of falsehood.

"Corruption, unfortunately, has since become the norm, while insecurity is at its lowest ebb.

"These are indeed challenging times that call for drastic moral rejuvenation in all aspect of our lives," he said.

The Archbishop also urged the Directors to see communication as a tool not only for evangelism, but also for the promotion of justice, equity and harmonious coexistence among the nations of the world.

"I urged you priests and communicators not to relent in speaking the truth at all times, so that together we can help build a virile and just society," he said.

Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, in his address, urged religious leaders to use the period of the conference to deliberate on issues that would foster inter-faith cooperation in the nation.

"I want to believe that this National conference is meant to build bridges of understanding and encourage interfaith cooperation among Nigerians.

"On the occasion of your plenary conference, I will urge you to continue in your support for Nigeria and Lagos State by praying for continued peace.

"And to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people through provision of qualitative physical and social infrastructure that will enable every individual to achieve his dreams, " he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashola was represented by his Special Adviser on Parastatals Monitoring, Mr Gboyega Adebayo.

Msgr Gabriel Osu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, said that the conference was an avenue to reflect on the use of social media.

Osu said that the theme was a challenge to every Nigerian to wake up to the realities and opportunities that the social media offer.

"It is gladsome to note that the Boko Haram sect has finally agreed to dialogue with the Federal Government.

"The Catholic Church has always condemned the use of violence as a means of making political statement, it has not worked anywhere in the world and it would not work in Nigeria.

"Rather, we have always advocated for dialogue as a cordial way of resolving differences; no religion in the world supports the shedding of human blood under any guise, " he said.

The cleric called on Nigerians, including the church as a whole, to add voice to the clarion call for justice, accountability, and good governance in the country.

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