23rd June, 2012
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state in central Nigeria has said that an end to endemic corruption and deficit leadership would help to curb violence and religious extremism in the country.
He spoke at the opening of the 5th Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Festival (RATTAFEST) for the North Central zone in Minna on Friday. “What we should concern ourselves with is the revival of our core cultural values of peace, love, good neighbourliness, tolerance and respect for the rule of law.“We must fashion out a way to solve the past and present wave of violence, which is having negative effect on our country’s economic progress, especially in the northern region,’’ he said.
He said the north was well known for its culture of peace and hospitality, which contributed positively to the economic prosperity of the region and the country at large.“We need to retrace our steps in order to discover those areas we have got it wrong and make necessary adjustment.“No society in history has ever made any meaningful progress in the face of dysfunctional societal values characterised by conflict and violence; the type we are witnessing. ’’
The governor called on northern states to revitalise moribund industries or those that have gone out of operation.He said the current security problem in the north called for proactive media support and partnership with government to achieve its objective of promoting peace, development, national unity and integration. “The media must at all times be conscious of the etiquettes of journalism. You must be objective in your report and eschew acts that will overheat our national polity.’’The National President of RATTAWU, Mr Yemisi Bamgboshe, represented by the National Secretary of the union, Mr Henry Ojugbana, said Niger was peaceful. “That is why we are here, I pray that the peace in Niger will be experienced in other states of the federation. I commended the State Government for hosting the RATTAFEST.’’
RATTAFEST is an annual cultural fiesta organised by the North Central zone of RATTAWU. It was initiated in Makurdi in 2007. The 2012 edition is tagged: “National Peace and Development: The Role of Media and culture”.