Youth in Nigeria Cautioned against Sharing Social Media Content to Stir up Violence

Fr. Mike Nsikak Umoh, National Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN). Credit: Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria

Young people in Nigeria have been urged to use social media for the development of the country and to desist from engaging such platforms to cause animosity and violence in the West African country.

In a three-day workshop on “Improving Communication Strategies in the Catholic Media in Nigeria”, which Agenzia Fides reported Tuesday, April 20, the National Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Fr. Mike Umoh, cautioned the youth in Africa’s most populous nation against the circulation of destructive audio and video messages that, he said, could further create tension and violence in the country.

Nigeria continues to experience many forms of violence, key among them perpetrated by Islamist group Boko Haram and the militant Fulani herdsmen.

Other acts of violence have been reported among young people who feel aggrieved owing to lack of jobs in the country that continues to experience rising levels of poverty and corruption.

In his report titled, “Overcoming the challenges of Social Media use in the mission of the Church in Nigeria”, Fr. Umoh urged young people to engage social media for a positive development of the country in order to guarantee unity and peaceful coexistence of its citizens.


The CSN National Director of Social Communications also urged religious leaders to take advantage of social media to evangelize and share useful content to educate social media users.

“Social media is where the people are and for leaders to reach out to youths of today, they must go through the social media. The social media can be used for greater good if we create a positive alternative to it,” Fr. Umoh says in the April 20 report.

Also addressing participants at the event, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Asset Newspaper, charged those involved in the publication of Catholic newspapers to brace up to the challenges facing the industry.

In his report titled, “Problems and prospects of a successful Church newspaper in Nigeria”, Dr. Akwaya said that the CSN should coordinate the setting up of a Foundation for the Catholic Media services in the West African country.

The Foundation, according to the Agenzia Fides report, should serve as a funding platform for the Catholic Television, its numerous diocesan newspapers, radio stations, and the digital media.

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“Apart from mobilizing funds from both local and foreign sources, the foundation will be expected to coordinate training of journalists and media workers and help in coordinating research activities,” said Dr. Akwaya.

Patrick Osu, the National President, Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN) described communication as a very vital instrument of life that promotes peace, love and reconciliation, and underscored the need for media practitioners in the country to always seek to report the truth.

“We must use our positions well within the context of professional ethics to avert dangerous trends by exposing evil and always reporting the truth,” the CAMPAN President said.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.