In a media briefing last week in Nigeria, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos spoke about the importance of the press and about the security situation in his country.
It was the first media briefing since Archbishop Martins’ appointment to the nation’s largest see. In his remarks, the Archbishop expressed his appreciation of the support of the press for the Catholic Church in Nigeria. He said “the role of the media as agents of change cannot be over-emphasized,” and noted that as “disseminators of information” journalists had a special vocation. Archbishop Martins’ said he was “shocked” at the news of the attack on a Nigerian journalist, and called on members of the media “to explore all legitimate means to safeguard the lives and welfare of your members at all times.”
The Archbishop continued by addressing the state of the nation. “One of the major challenges facing us today is that of insecurity owing to the incessant bombing of innocent citizens by the Boko Haram sect,” he said. He said Boko Haram’s actions, even during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, “raises much doubt about their frequent claims to be Muslims fighting the cause of the Islamic religion.” Archbishop Martins said, “It is very obvious therefore that those perpetuating these acts of terrorism on fellow Nigerians, are not true Muslims but terrorists bent on destabilizing our country Nigeria.”
Archbishop Martins concluded by calling on all Nigerians to pray to God for a lasting peace.