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Cleric urges media to stop giving front pages to terrorists’ activities

An Islamic scholar, Mr. Cemal Yegit, has called on Nigerian media practitioners in particular and world over to stop what he termed ‘propagation of terrorists’ hostile activities’ by stopping to give them publicity as it is currently the practice.

Yegit, who maintained that the society as a whole was traumatised and paralysed by media’s coverage of violence and conflict, said therefore that a stop must be put to it.

The cleric stated this on Sunday  while delivering a lecture  at a Ramadan Lecture organised by the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) Abuja chapter,

Yegit of Ufuk foundation from Turkey, said media need to remember how powerful they are when it comes to healing societal wounds, rather than intensifying people’s interest.

According to him, the totalitarian mentality that characterizes terrorist groups like ISIS should be treated like a cancer within our societies and countered through political, social and religious efforts. And in this case, media can play very important role.

His words, “Why don’t we simply bury these guys deep in their forests and in their caves on the mountains, down there in their tunnels where they are hiding like animals?

“Let’s submerge them in their own atrocities by not giving them publicity and by not dedicating our front pages to elevating their hostile practices.

“Media can help us to better understand the mental health backdrop to atrocity and recovery.

“Therefore, it is vital to question whether or not Nigerian media are repositioning themselves to tackle the matter of restructuring a peaceful society, which is an important, tangible base for a strong Nigeria”, he said.

In his welcome address, Chairman of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Abuja chapter, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said the programme was organised to educate the public on the concept of “Peace as a catalyst for development: the media challenge” adding that the choice of the was informed by the happenings in the in the country.

Balogun called on all the employers of labour especially the media owners, who are owning salaries to pay up in the interest of peace and development.

His words, “Equally, all groups who were aggrieved in one way or the other and are causing troubles by disrupting peace in the country, should use this period of Ramadan to ceasefire and enter into meaningful dialogue with the government”.

The event was well attended by both federal and state government officials, Muslim clerics, Muslim media practitioners among others.

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