Media stakeholders who took part in maiden edition Oyo State Government Information Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday have cautioned media practitioners against reporting inciting and divisive messages that could lead to chaos and precipitate anarchy in the country.
The summit, which started on Tuesday, was declared open by Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, with his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose in attendance.
Former Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati delivered the keynote address.
Over 800 stakeholders including Media Chiefs, Media Regulatory Agencies, Government Functionaries, Public Relations Practitioners, Information Officers, Communication Lecturers, Reporters, Broadcasters, Lawyers and Communication Students were in attendance.
In a communiqué issued on Wednesday at the end of the summit themed, “Managing Information & Communications: the Catalyst for Sustainable Development, the stakeholders called for effective monitoring of media houses by various regulatory agencies, noting that strict compliance with regulations guiding the ethics of the media profession should be followed.
“After a careful examination of issues addressed on past and current Nigerian socio-political milieu, the summit condemned inflammatory statements and narratives from different parts of the country on media channels as well as linguistic or extra linguistic acts that can spur hatred and unnecessary tension. Nigerian media should encourage the use of positive languages to promote peace and harmony in the society,” the communiqué committee headed by Dr. Bayo Busari said.
The communiqué said there should be registration and regulation for bloggers and online publishers, adding that there is need for synergy between government and media practitioners as catalysts for sustainable development in Nigeria.
Participants commended the Oyo State Government for organizing the summit, the first of its kind by any state government, explaining that it offered the opportunity for stakeholders to examine the challenges in the practice of information and communication management.
They also called for a regular information summit at least twice in a year.
The communiqué said “there should be periodic training and mentoring for media practitioners and information managers; provision of modern working tools for media practitioners and the revival and sustenance of the culture of professionalism among media practitioners.
The participants charged media owners to pay more attention to the welfare with a clarion call for the speedy commissioning of the Oyo State Archive nearing construction.