By Yusufu Shehu Usman
The most important task before the incoming Minister of Information is to propagate the ideals of unity and rekindle the spirit of patriotism amongst Nigerians.
He must ensure that all agencies responsible for the dissemination of information to the people and in this wise,i mean all public and private Media including the amorphous platform of the social media key into the ideals of national unity
It can not be denied that there is presently a dangerous threat to our national cohesion from the spate of hate speech, intolerance and mutual suspicion among the various peoples of Nigeria.
It has reached a point where we don’t trust each other and we don’t even seem to trust Nigeria any more.
We exhibit great intolerance on matters such as tribe, ethnicity and religion to the extent that nobody thinks about Nigeria as our common heritage
We look at every thing including appointments not on the basis of merit, integrity, qualification and ability to deliver to the common good but on narrow, parochial and primordial prisms of tribe or affinity to the seat of power
The new Minister of Information and Culture must change this trajectory and reverse the negative narrative.
The Ministry of Information must spear head the revolution to inculcate in our citizens the love of country above self and to put Nigeria first ahead of other considerations in all matters.
The National Orientation Agency and the public publicity arm of the Ministry must engage the citizens through all means of effective communication to preach peace and tolerance, to propagate the ideals of mutual trust which is lacking across all sections of the society at the moment.
Our continued existence as a nation is predicated on our ability to live together in unity.
The strength of Nigeria today survives on the principle of unity in diversity and if we fail to uphold unity, our diversity will divide us and the nation will disintegrate in to cleavages of religion and ethnicity.
The task of upholding unity among Nigerians lies squarely on the shoulder of the government and it is the government that can make or mar it.
The Ministry of Information should operate beyond being a propaganda machinery for government policies.
It must be deployed as an instrument for forging peace and preaching peaceful coexistence among the people
It is now more than ever before that we need a proactive Minister of information to sanitise the environment of information management and dissemination in the face of acute security challenges and the resurgence of tribal and religious conflicts
The government must come up with policies that should address inequity in the distribution of resources, address youth restiveness and improve the lot of the citizens.
We must have a competent Ministry of information that is well supported to inform and sensitise the people not only on the activities of the government but through its machinery also galvanise support for unity and peace among Nigerians
It is for these reasons, that I think one of the most important Ministries at the next level should be the Ministry of Information