Tinubu championing national cohesion through inclusive governance – Minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated profound commitment to promoting national cohesion through inclusive governance.
This is contained in statement issued by Mr Rabiu Ibrahim, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Idris made this known while delivering a speech, titled “Promoting National Cohesion Through Strategic Communication,” at the maiden National Security Course for Psychological Operations and Strategic Communication” in Abuja.
The course was organised by the Defence Intelligence Agency.
Ibrahim said that Idris, who was represented by the Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, said said every segment of the Nigerian society was represented under under Tinubu.
Ibrahim said the minister stressed that the president was already working assiduously toward addressing the challenges of national cohesion by deploying comprehensive strategies.
He explained that some of the strategies included the implementation of policies that promoted inclusivity, equitable representation and social cohesion.
Idris, he said, emphasised that shared national values, promotion of dialogue, acknowledgement and respect for the nation’s diversity were crucial steps toward building and maintaining national cohesion.
“Let me hasten to state here that in his profound commitment to national cohesion, Tinubu swore to uphold the constitution. He is dutifully implementing its provisions to ensure that no part of this country feels alienated.
“This is amply demonstrated in his appointments across Ministries, Departments and Agencies. His vision is rooted in promoting unity, understanding and inclusive governance across the country.
“President Tinubu’s government is not going to operate in an echo chamber,” the statement quoted the minister as saying.
Ibrahim said Idris identified some of the nation’s fault lines that were being exploited by some interest groups to polarise the country’s historical prejudices such as the civil war between 1967 and 1970.
He added that others were the amalgamation of the Northern and the Southern Protectorates by Sir Lord Lugard in 1914, religious differences and ethnic diversity.

Idris also noted that the media had a unique and critical role to play in promoting national cohesion by toning down divisive rhetorics.
He added that media could also promote national cohesion by weaving national narratives that would further strengthen the bond of unity among the diverse cultures and religions in Nigeria.
“Media, if not managed responsibly, can either reinforce stereotypes and divisions or contribute positively to understanding and cohesion. Biased reporting or inflammatory content can escalate tensions.
“Misinformation and disinformation mainly propagated on the Social Media are some of the major challenges we are contending with in this country.
“Naysayers are adept at creating narratives that amplify existing fault lines while setting one community against the other. This deliberate effort to sow discord can have grave consequences on national cohesion,” Idris said.
The statement further said the minister explained that in recognition of the significance of responsible content management, he has been meeting with some of tech companies.
He added the the aim of meeting them was to ensure a balanced approach that would uphold both freedom of expression and safeguards against potential harms on the Social Media.
According to him, the Ministry will align its content and regulatory framework with internationally recognised standards to ensure consistency with global best practices.
He further explained that the alignment would reflect a commitment to a regulatory approach that would respect diverse perspectives while addressing potential challenges.
He, however, said it was quite challenging to promote national cohesion in the midst of poverty, hence the commitment of the Tinubu administration to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“He is doing this by resetting the Ministry and agencies of government charged with that responsibility to ensure that the target set is achieved.
“Economic empowerment also acts as a catalyst for wealth redistribution and fostering social equity.
“When citizens from various socio-economic backgrounds have access to opportunities, it mitigates feelings of marginalisation and contributes to a more equitable society,” Idris is further quoted as saying.
The minister’s spokesman said that Idris noted that it was in realisation of this objective that economic empowerment and poverty alleviation were being given prominence under Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

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