Delegates from the Humanists Association of Nigeria have tasked the Nigeria media on inclusive reportage of non religious groups in the country.
The Group made the call when a delagation led by its founder, Mr Leo Igwe visited the National Headquarters of the LEADERSHIP Newspaper in Abuja on Monday, January 14, 2019.
In his remarks, Mr Igwe said “The Abuja Humanists convention just ended. This historic event focused on the risks and challenges that people who renounce religion face in the country. The Convention provided an important platform for ex-religionists to tell their stories and share their experiences”
He said the purpose of the visit was to highlight the concerns of the Humanists/atheist community in this country”.
The Founder said “In reporting issues that are related to religion, the voices of the non religious are missing. They are conspicuously omitted making the media publications look like church and mosque bulletins. Hence, this wrong impression that over 90 per cent of Nigerians are religious or that there are no atheists, free thinkers in the country.”
He noted that the media establishment needs to fulfil its democratic duty by ensuring that the voices and perspectives of minorities are highlighted. This is a potent way to ensure that while the majority has the way, the minority have their say”.
He maintained that “While various media organisations allocate spaces and airtime especially on Fridays and Sundays to the dominant religious faiths for sermons and prayers, incidentally there are no such allocations for the non religious/humanist constituencies”.
Mr Igwe maintained that the notion that Nigeria is deeply religious will persist as long as the media organisations refuse to break with the misrepresentation and begin to adequately inform the world about religious belief and unbelief in the country”
In his remarks, the Group Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr Christian Ochiama reiterated the commitment of the Leadership Newspaper Group to be a credible platform fairly representing all people irrespective of tribe and religion.
In his words” The Newsroom is a market place of ideas which seeks to represent all interests and ideas without bias and the LEADERSHIP group is committed to giving a voice to all”.
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