SIGNIS celebrates 90 years of collaboration between Catholic communicators in Leuven
Nigeria, June, 12th, 2018 (Warridiocese). In a bid to live up to the expectations of the Communication world, the National Executive Council of SIGNIS Nigeria has convoked their second National Delegates Assembly to chart the path to accelerated growth of the association and to elect credible candidates to pilot her affairs.
The conference, which was based on the theme, ‘Communication for the Promotion of Justice, Peace & Reconciliation in Nigeria’, was preceded by a concelebrated Holy Mass by the Director of Communications, Abuja Arcdiocese and Director of the Catholic Television of Nigeria, Rev Fr. Patrick Alumuku, alongside the out-gone president of SIGNIS Nigeria and new President of SIGNIS Africa, Rev. Fr. Prof.Walter Ihejirika and the Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev Fr. Chris Anyanwu.
In his homily, the Director, Social Communications, Awka Diocese, Very Rev Fr. Martin Anusi focused on the need for the faithful to pray for the unusual and insignificant things in life to manifest in order that they can give life their best shots. He went further to explain what SIGNIS truly meant by coining the words, ‘Since in God Nobody is Single’, thereby, encouraging all to keep building a communion of people from all walks of life, through the association.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Auxiliary bishop of Onitsha Diocese, Rev Denis Isizoh made a call to members to practice journalism that dwells more on exploring the underlying causes of setting virtuous processes in place instead of breaking news. In similar light, the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev Fr. Ralph Madu, urged delegates to remain focused, avoid selfish interests, concentrate on serving the common good while ensuring a free and fair election. He extolled the out-gone officers for collaborating with the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in establishing the various allied bodies like the Association of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Communication (ADRDC), the Catholic Artistes and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN) and Catholic Media Practitioners of Nigeria (CAMPAN). He applauded their efforts in successfully co-ordinating these affiliate bodies for the proper execution of the Communication Apostolate of the Church in Nigeria and as well, their participation at the continental and international programmes of the association.
Rev Fr. Hyacinth Orlu-Orlu of the University of Port Harcourt spoke on ‘Hate Speech and National Security’. He recommended existing laws to be used as a measure to check hate speeches especially when they threaten national security. He also enjoined journalists to be ethical in their line of duty even as they use their positions as gatekeepers to check sensationalism in their reportage. The founder of the National Pilgrimage and Eucharistic Center, Elele, Rev Prof Emmanuel Edeh then spoke on ‘Communication for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation in Nigeria’, maintaining that peace could only be achieved through works of charity and by loving one another just as Christ loved us.
Prominent in the day’s agenda was the election of new officers to take over the mantle of leadership of SIGNIS Nigeria. Delegates successfully elected their new officers in the persons of Fr. Patrick Alumuku (President); Fr Femi Adetunji (Vice President); Mr Tony Agugba (Gen Secretary); Mrs. Ifeoma Opara (Asst Secretary/Financial Secretary); Fr Stephen Udo (Treasurer); Fr Benedict Ukutegbe (PRO); Fr Justin Dyikuk (Member); Fr Jude Offor (Member); Fr Martin Anusi (Member); Fr Innocent Uwah (Member); Fr. Chris Anyanwu (Member) and Fr. Walter Ihejirika (Ex Officio).
In an interview with the Missionary Newspaper, the out-gone president, Fr Walter Ihejirika thanked God for one of the best achievements of his team, which was making SIGNIS Nigeria a household name by setting up landmarks and structures like the video/film/music festivals, organising workshops and festivals which has made SIGNIS Nigeria known to the world while his successor, Fr Patrick Alumuku expressed Joy over his victory and promised to take the association to a new level with the support and willingness of members throughout Nigeria.