Over the years, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria also known as Radio Nigeria has put in place yearly lecture series, which has significantly contributed to promoting discourse on burning national issues thereby living up to its motto: Uplifting the people and uniting the Nation.
No doubt, this has made the corporation achieve the nation’s development goals through qualitative and development-driven network programmes which have added impetus to governance.
For example, in 2018, the annual lecture, which had as its theme, Fake News, Hate Speech and the 2019 General Elections; The Redemptive Role of The Nigerian Media, was to prepare Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious differences for the 2019 General Election. Participants in the lecture spoke with one voice to condemn fake news and hate speech which was almost synonymous with the Nigerian election.
Also, in 2019, the annual October lecture Chronicles, Extremism: A threat to National Unity. The Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who could not hide his feelings at the occasion, commended the management and staff of FRCN for ensuring the sustenance of the lecture series which he said had contributed a lot to the promotion of national discourse.
He noted that some of the tools of choice for extremists to propagate their dangerous ideas include unbridled propaganda, fake news and hate speech. These are potent tools in the hands of extremists, whether they be secessionists, ultra-nationalists, Religious extremists or even insurgents.
Some distinguished personalities that have served as guest lecturers under the annual lecture included the late Dan Masarin Kano, Dr Maitama Sule, former Imo State Governor, now a distinguished Senator, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, a presidential candidate, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, of blessed memory, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Prof. Pat Utomi, Professor of Law and International Security, Prof. Ahmed Danfulani among many others.
In 2020, the lecture could not hold as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic which ravaged the entire world and brought humanity to its knees.
Persons with disabilities
The 2021 edition of the October lecture, which is in collaboration with the Albino Foundation with the theme “Imperative of Disability Inclusion in Natural Transformation is unique and apt. This is because the rights of persons with disabilities and the sustainable development goals have influenced people thinking on how best to support persons with disabilities and their families to ensure that human rights are respected.
Disability inclusion allows accessibility so that everyone can fully participate in activities such as education, politics, social interactions and entrepreneurship. It is no secret that societal barriers place persons with disabilities at increased risk of violence, poverty, poor health outcomes, marginalisation in their communities and fewer educational and employment opportunities.
The lecture, therefore as the tradition of Radio Nigeria will lend voice to better the lives of people with disabilities, inferably making the society a better place.
Written by Olufemi Fulani, head of our current affairs unit