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2015, Nov 23

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has reiterated the important role of the media, especially the television in the entrenchment of true democracy in the Nigerian nation by adhering to the ethics of the profession in serving the people, irrespective of their differences and status.

Cardinal Onaiyekan made this remark at a Dinner ceremony titled A Night with the Cardinal; organized by the Catholic Television (CathTV); the Television Broadcasting Station of the Archdiocese of Abuja. The ceremony, aimed at raising fund and getting support for the television station was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life and captains of industries from different parts of the country.
Speaking on the role of the television in nation building and sustainability of democracy, Cardinal Onaiyekan noted that the television, by virtue of its influence and role in the society, has the sacred duty of reporting the truth always and providing equal opportunities for people, organizations and societies in coverage and reporting.

Outlining the goals of the Catholic Television, Cardinal Onaiyekan disclosed that the television state has a primary role of helping the Church to promote love, peace, harmony and equity among all the people of the country. He added that the activities of the station will be guided by the teachings of the Church, particularly in the promotion of Christian virtues, cooperation and collaboration amongst the people.

And in a recent exclusive interview with a national daily newspaper (The Sunday Punch), Cardinal Onaiyekan disclosed that the issue of corruption in Nigeria is a systemic one which needs the collaboration of all to address. The cardinal has been asked to address the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, since assumption of office.

The interview took place while the cardinal was in China, as a member of the Global Council of the United Bible Societies, to attend the 30 years anniversary celebration of the establishment Amity Printing Press in Nanjing, China. The press engages primarily in the printing of Bibles.

Speaking on the anti-corruption war of the president, Cardinal Onaiyekan noted that corruption in the country is not basically “a question of individuals who are greedy,” but rather: “it is a whole system that is corrupt which needs to be changed – the system of governance, the way business is done in the government offices.” He contended that all these must be changed if the war against corruption in the country is to be successful.

The metropolitan of Abuja Ecclesiastical Province continued: “It means also that those who claim or those who have the job to tackle corruption, must themselves do it in a non-corrupt fashion. This is where it is necessary that the rule of law must be followed.” He continued: “You cannot just pounce on somebody because you think you don’t like him or because people are talking about him. This is the problem Buhari has.”

Speaking on the need for “change” in the country, which is the slogan of the ruling party, Cardinal Onaiyekan pointed out that the country change “unless we as Nigerians agree to change”. He continued: “And that is where the problem is. Many Nigerians want to continue as they were doing before and they want everybody to else to change, but not themselves.”The cardinal added: “That is the problem which our president has. He has with him, a whole lot of people with whom he doesn’t share the same ideas. And this is partly responsible for the slow pace of what of what he is doing.”

Cardinal Onaiyekan who spoke on other aspects of the nation’s situation including why former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was voted out of office, the slow pace of President Muhammadu Buhari, his membership of the General Abdulsalami Abubakar led National Peace Committee on the 2015 General Elections; expressed concern on the confused state of the nation “because not much has happened” and urged the president to have clear minds about certain things and engage the services of those who can work along with him in his vision to be able to meet the aspirations of Nigerians on time.


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