The Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese, Most Rev. John Okeoghene Afareha on Saturday said that insecurity and the myriads of other sociopolitical crisis ravaging Nigeria have continued to thrive as a result of insincerity on the part of the authorities.
Afareha said this on the occasion of the 2021 World Communications Day celebration and inauguration of the Diocesan Communications Commission held at the SacredvHeart Catholic Cathedral, Warri, Delta State.
The occasion which drew the creme de la creme of the society including the deputy speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Ochor Christopher Ochor, also featured the launching of the Diocesan N50million communications equipment comprising a state of the art printing machine and other computer gadgets.
The bishop who spoke through the Diocesan vicar general, Very Rev. Fr. Col. (Retd.) Martins Akusu raised an alarm over the persistent manner in which the government in Nigeria has been “silencing the truth” by perverting freedom of information in the country.
This, he said, has continued to embolden those perpetrating insecurity across the country.
He said, “with the sort of communication we are currently having in the country where the government is making all efforts to silence the truth, I can not say that communication will be a source of arresting the insecurity in the country.
“If we the Catholics who are supposed to tell the truth are allowed to tell the truth, those perpetrating insecurity will be cautioned, and then, we will be sure there is hope. But for now, I am not too sure because the communications are so many, and you cannot perceive which one is the truth.
“Even though the Pope says we should be careful, but at the same time, let’s also be in the field so that by the time we are allowed to speak the truth, and they take the truth, it will help to arrest the insecurity in the land.
“My message to the government, at this juncture, is that they should do their duties while we, the Church, should also continue to do our own.
“The duties of the government is to ensure the security of the people and the Church to preach the word of God. If the government is doing their own duties properly, all will be well.”
Speaking earlier, the diocesan director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Thaddeus Okpowodu affirmed that the Catholic Church “had resolved to step up evangelisation, particularly at this time of insecurity, violence and social upheavals across the nation.”
While calling on the media to partner with the Church to bring the gospel to the nooks and cranny of the nation, he urged the government to “be open to suggestions as nobody knows it all.
Delta State deputy speaker, Ochor Christopher Ochor, in his address at the event hailed the theme of this year’s World Communications Day, “Come and see”, and admonished the society to use the tools of communications for the benefit of all.
The deputy speaker who was represented by Chief Odalonu Otuya Director Social Service, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) said, “As we celebrate this year’s World Communication Day, we must understand the dangers of misinformation, and help use the various means of communication to teach, share and build a society of peace, love and that of a united people.
“We must remind ourselves of that first encounter of the disciples with Jesus Christ. They encountered love. Let us also give that love to those we encounter in our journey in life. Let us not destroy our homes, friends, places of worship, workplaces and our country with misinformation. Let us learn to process any information we receive before we share it. When we do this, then we will be fulfilled and this year’s theme will be considered successful.”