– The Sun News

Cleric tasks journalists on integrity

  …As Catholic media association induct new members

By Jet Stanley Madu

Director of Social Communication, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, has charged media professionals in the country to uphold truth in their reports at all times.

He spoke at the recent induction of the Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN). 

Osu, who regretted that Nigerian politicians detest truth, urged journalists to ensure truthful reportage, not minding how bitter the truth might be. He also urged them to be committed to the media’s agenda-setting role.

Describing the pen as a very powerful tool for positive change, he said: “Truth, they say, is bitter. That is why only very few people are prepared to accommodate it. You can see that the Nigerian government of today hates the truth. You see that in how people around the corridors of power misuse power.

“But we should use our pen to preach Christ, to uphold human dignity and to transmit joy. Use your means of social communication responsibly. If you do, Nigeria will be good. If you do not, it will spell doom for the nation.”

Osu, who spoke during the holy mass to mark the event, also called on journalists to eschew jealousy and hatred. He preached unreserved forgiveness to his audience, saying: “You need to forgive from the heart and all the time and with no condition. It has to be from the heart and not just from the lips. It is then that God will forgive you.”

Osu, chaplain of CAMPAN, observed that petty jealousy was one ill capable of tearing media professionals apart. He therefore prayed for peace and advised that rather than being jealous, people should complement one another.

He also warned against discontentment, urging media professionals to be content with their salaries. He described anger as the father of all problems, and asserted that bitterness easily leads to retrogression.

While welcoming the inductees to the association, Osu urged them to embrace reconciliation. He  prayed for their promotion, success and God’s direction.

The induction, which held at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Catholic Church, Northern Foreshore, Lekki, featured many Catholics, the inductees and friends and family members, who defied the heavy rain to be part of the occasion.

The ceremony marked the rejuvenation of CAMPAN in the Lagos archdioceses. The association, which has been in existence for the past three decades, was said to be very active in the archdiocese in the 1990s and early parts of 2000. But it began to experience a slide in fortunes after the relocation of the Catholic Secretariat from Lagos to Abuja in early 2000.

CAMPAN, it was also learnt, operates under the auspices of the Directorate of Social Communication. It is operational in all Catholic dioceses and archdioceses in Nigeria and has the blessing of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

Some notable media professionals whose names remain evergreen in the annals of the association include Chief Julie Coker, its one-time president, Mr. Soni Irabor, Fortunatus Dawodu, Patrick Oke, the late Akin Peter Thomas, Ted Mukoro, Ibidun Alison, Tony Cardoso, Raphael Adelabu, Regina Anajemba, Gold Oru, Seyi Martins and the late Omoghene Onojake, among others.

Among those inducted from The Sun Publishing Limited were the general manager, corporate services, Mrs. Neta Nwosu, Mr. Christian Agadibe and Mr. Jet Stanley Madu. Twenty-nine other journalist from other media outlets participated. 

Welcoming the inductees, CAMPAN president, Mr. Tony Agbugba, noted that the exercise marked the beginning of great things to happen not only in the Lagos Catholic Archdiocese but in the country as a whole.

He remarked that with communication at the heart of the church’s activities, the members would enjoy the privilege of being part of the select few called to utilise their talents, tools of trade and strategic positions to evangelise and defend the church at all times.

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