A Peacebuilding group, Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro has called on government in Nigeria at all levels to create a meeting point with the media and civil society to enhance synergy and create a bridge of understanding.
PeacePro stated that, working in opposing direction will continue to create confusion and drag the nation backward, no matter the good intention of the respective parties.
In a statement by Executive Director of PeacePro, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the organization explained that, government, media and civil society should be, in the real sense of it, partners in peace and nation building, but unfortunately, the reverse is the case as both parties relate with each other with mutual suspicion and also competing to discredit each other, a development that has continued to hamper the growth of the nation.
According to Hamzat, while government has been given, through election, the mandate, resources and legitimacy to chart a direction for the development of the nation, media and civil society on the other hand has taken upon itself, the responsibility of not only putting searchlight on grey areas to bring about transparency and accountability, it is also ensuring that what government is doing is in line with public needs and expectations.
Hamzat however noted that, PeacePro observed that government, media and civil society are working with different information, which is to say the least, problematic and has often lead to hostility, rather than synergy.
”The volume of information available to government is different from what it available to media and civil society and each party is making its conclusions based on the level of information available to it’’ Hamzat said, adding that, lack of adequate information to media and civil society has led to many wrong conclusions, which has created negative perception about some loudable government initiatives.
‘’ The unnecessary hoarding of information by Ministries, Agencies and Departments is largely responsible for the increasing resort to fake news and conspiracy theories and this has done more harm than good to the country, as the little information that trickles out is negatively amplified and misunderstood, thereby creating negative perception’’
Hamzat therefore call on government to create a meeting point to bridge the information gap in other to avoid unnecessary public misperception, which has largely created negative mindset about government, not just within the media and civil society, but also within the general populace.
He concluded that, media and civil society will play a major role in our quest for peace and nation building and the earlier we fashion a joint purpose that is devoid of undue suspicion, the better for the country.