Nigerians have been advised to stop spreading fake news and glamourizing evil through the internet and , especially Facebook, Whatsapp etc.
Rev. Fr. Wence Madu gave this warning in his homily at a concelebrated Mass at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri to mark this year’s World Communications Day.
Fr. Madu observed that over 80 percent of Nigerian youths are active on the internet and the social media but regretted the abuse of the modern communication. He observed that instead of using the social media to propagate good values, unite people and spread friendship among people and communities, they use them to glamourize evil, spread falsehood, fake news, hatred and violence, thus destroying individuals, families and the fabric of the society.
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Fr. Madu who is the Rector of the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo noted that many users of the social media hardly took time to find out whether what they are publishing or “forwarding” is true or false.
“All they do is forwarding! forwarding! forwarding! What they are forwarding they don’t know.”
He reminded those who forward fake news, violence and hatred that they are as guilty as the person who originated it.
The Rector also took a swipe at the mainstream journalists who publish falsehood or fake news either for monetary or political gains.
He recalled reading such fake news in a local tabloid with the caption” Imo Poly Rector on the Run,” even when the Rector was in his office.
“We need to cultivate a lively faith in Christ that allows us to cultivate truth, pursue whatever unites us and not what divides us, what will create harmony in family, community and state, and not what will create hatred,” Fr. Madu said.
He appealed to journalists, both online and offline, to use the media in orderly and prudent manner to reflect why God created man, cautioning that, “Our works shall go through the scrutiny of the Most High one day as we give account of our actions.”
was presided over by the Administrator of the Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Nicholas
Ijemaru, who represented, the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna.
Co-celebrants included – Rev. Fr. Raymond Nzereogu, Director of Communications,
Owerri Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Longinus Chinagorom and Rev. Fr. Paschal Anyanwu.
Also present were – Prof. Francis Eze, Vice Chancellor, FUTO, Prof. Jude Njoku, Dr. Adolph Amadietc
The Mass was attended by journalists from various media houses, in Imo State; including the executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state led by Chief Chris Akaraonye.
The high point of the Mass was the blessing of journalists and their instruments of profession by the Director of Communications/OzisaFm Radio, Fr. Nzereogu.
Discussion of the Pope’s message titled: “We are members of one another: From Social network communities to the human community,” took place after the Mass at Assumpta Hall.
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