By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Christopher Ochor Ochor has called on communicators and information managers to be at the fore front on war against fake news in the country.
The Deputy Speaker, who is also member representing Ukwuani State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, made the call on Saturday, May 15, 2021, during this year’s Catholic World Communication Day, held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Warri Diocese.
This years theme: “Come and See – Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are”, as stated by the Holy Father, Pope Francis was chosen to reflect the first disciples’ encounter with Jesus, who invited them to follow him and to enter into what will be called a lasting relationship with him.
He went further to state that Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see”, is the way by which the Christian faith should communicate.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon Christopher Ochor Ochor, who was the Chairman of the event, represented by Chief Odalonu Otuya, a Director in the Delta State Oil Producing areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), pointed out that this year’s celebration will not be considered successful, if the those involved in management of information do not join in the fight against fake news which has become a monsterous scourge in the country.
He said with the continuous advancement in technology, with different communication applications, the world has continued to be divided, as more and more people, and communities are living more apart, instead of harnessing the opportunity to live a better and united world.
He stated further that the topic and any other similar topic can never be wished away anytime, as communication is vital to the homogenous development of the people.
“This topic, and any other similar one that deals with communication at any given time, cannot be wished away, as the act of communication, especially communication that builds relationship and positive development should be appreciated, most especially with the increasing uncertainty and challenges we face as a people.”
“Our society has rapidly evolved into what seems to be a monster before us, because of introduction of modern technologies, and various means of communication, which however was created to enhance our living style. But which has turned out to dwarf our traditional ways of communication, especially in our homes, offices and even in worship places. This means of communication have eased work patterns in places of work, and relationship patterns in our homes and private gatherings.”
“The use of most of these means of communication at close observation, have not helped us, as they have created a vacuum in our relationship with the rest of the world. The usage has not met up with the theme of this year’s celebration”
“We have not as a people been able to use the modern means of communication to touch lives as our Lord Jesus Christ did when the first disciples encountered him. This was followed with numerous performances and occurrences by those who came in contact with him.”
“Today, the modern means of communication, in a way, has continued to set us more apart, than unite us. People are now more reserved, withdrawn, and prefer to live a more private life. The implication of this is loss of that communal living we use to share with our brothers, and community people.”
“We as a people, most especially as Christians, must learn to live a life where we share, and associate with our neighbours because Christ lived and died for us. He taught us the beauty of a united society. And for this year’s theme to be relevant, we must look at Christ and how he lived.”
He stated that the world as it is today is filled with misinformation, and the monster has to be killed, as the only people who see the good of it are the purveyors.
“The world today is filled with a lot of misinformation, we must through the available means of communication kill this monster as it has inflicted pains on individuals, families and organisations.”
“We have seen a lot of fake news materials. These materials have inflicted a lot of harm on people. Many who generate such misinformation for self profits. This is not good. We as a church, especially the practitioners in the field of communication should do their best to kill such acts, which has become dangerous and alien to our culture.”
“Our country today is facing a lot of challenges, especially with rising insecurity. One of the fastest ways insecurity is spreading in our country is through the available means of communication, especially with the social media handles. It has caused harm to many.”
“These applications were created to advance our positive ways of living, but rather they have become tools for kidnap, rape, child trafficking, breaking of marriages, infraction in religious bodies and much more. We can go on and on.”
“We have to change the ways we make use of this applications. We must apply them for positive development. Our nation is bleeding with anti-development issues. We can change the narratives by joining hands with the government of the day to help to build a better state, and a better Nigeria.”
“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, work places and our country with misinformation.”
“Let us learn to process any information we receive, before we share. When we do this, then we will be fulfilled and this year’s theme will be considered successful.” He said.