By Aloysius Attah
Participants at the 2023 Communications Week of the Archdiocese of Onitsha left the venue of the programme in a fulfilled mood last weekend as various speakers delivered life changing lectures to the audience leaving them yearning for more and unwilling to leave for home in a hurry.
Communications Week programme heralding the celebration of World Communications Day is an “annual initiative of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) aimed at helping all Catholics appreciate and understand the power of the media and the need to employ them for the mission of the Church and for personal development in the digital age”.
Welcoming the capacity crowd that filled up the large Trinity College Hall inside the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, venue of the event, the Director of Social Communications, Archdiocese of Onitsha, Rev. Fr. George Adimike expressed appreciation to the Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke for his full support and motivation towards the successful hosting of the 2023 Communications Week.
Fr. Adimike noted that communication and evangelisation go together emphasising that the command by our Lord Jesus Christ to preach to all nations and the education of God’s children involves communication.
He said dialogue is done with words and gestures while human beings also interact and communicate noting that human beings are social beings created to relate with one another.
Fr George said that for human relationship to happen, there must be good communication even as he pointed out that good communication creates wellbeing in the society while bad communication promotes rancour, strife , dissention , wars , quarrelling among other voices.
“For peace to reign in any society, that society must get its communication right. The church through the Communication Week programme is telling us that communication is not only an instrument but is the light and life of Christians because God is eternal communication. The Trinity –God the Father, Son and Holy Spirt are in nonstop communication so the existence of God is communication and that communication is truth and love.”
“Therefore the two principles of love and truth must guide human beings in their communication. Without love, there is no truth and without truth, there is no love. Without love, you can only have quacks and not truth and without truth, you can only have sentiments and not love. You need truth and love to live right and that is why in communication, we must be guided by truth and love. Once we hold this two hinges on which communication stands, we are good to go because such communication will bring life, progress, peace and prosperity in the society.” Fr Adimike said.
He appreciated others who contributed significantly to make the communication week a great success like his team members in the Archdiocesan Communications Desk , Fr. Vincent Chukwuka and Fr. Henry Charles Umuelechi not forgetting the Manager of Trinity College, Rev. Fr. John Anowai whom he disclosed graciously made available the expansive hall where the event was hosted.
In a presentation, a social media influencer , Evangelist Onyeka Obiezue popularly known as Onye Amuma said the internet has revolutionised communication in the world and is changing destinies of many when used positively.
Quoting the scripture in John 1vs 17, he said that unless the spirit of God dwells in a man, it will be very difficult to speak the truth with love.
“The Bible says that the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ . In John 14.6, Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can speak the truth with love unless he/she has the spirit of Jesus in him/her. Anyone that does not have Jesus or the spirit of Jesus Christ in him cannot speak the truth with love, for no one gives what he /she doesn’t have “he said.
Former Chairlady and Organiser, Catholic Women Organisation (CWO), Awada Zone, Mrs Chinwe Ezeliora in her own presentation said lack of communication destroys homes. She noted that communication flows when two people are open to each other while there must be love for one another for communication to flow.
“When we communicate well within the family, our children will be better off in the society. Couples should desist from living a life of secrecy for each other because openness is very important in the family” she said.
A priest of Onitsha Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Tochukwu Jude Onyeagolu in a presentation on the lead topic “Speaking with the heart, the truth in love” said Speaking the Truth without love kills. Giving several life stories to illustrate his points, Fr. Onyeagolu said speaking the Truth without Love also lies, victimises and can also be vindictive.
He said any truth without love can also be tyrannical even as he urged the people to realise at every point in time that any communication of truth must be motivated by love and nothing more noting that there is a way one can communicate the truth and it ends up causing destruction and killing its good intentions.
Earlier in a presentation, the Managing Director Anambra State Information Communication Technology Agency- ICT, Mr Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata disclosed that the Anambra State Government through its ICT agency will soon have data of all the citizens residing in the state.
Agbata enumerated some of the things the state government is planning to achieve through the ICT which includes, making sure that both young and old people are ICT compliant while WiFi will be free within public places in the state. He emphasised that communication is very critical in all we do in the society today.
Another resource person who spoke, the Technical Adviser to the MD, Anambra state ICT agency, Revd. Canon Sunday Folayan, said technology has democratized education and also gives opportunity to create communities, belonging to groups such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and so many others.
He said those platforms helps in sharing interesting ideas and in interacting with others.
Revd. Folayan however warned on the dangers of misusing the ICT tools and sounded a note of caution on the need for responsible communication.
In a vote of thanks, Chairman, Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN), Onitsha Archdiocese , Comrade Aloysius Attah urged all the participants to be agents of effective communication anchored on truth and love in their respective abodes and parishes.
He called on the participants to verify every information and desist from becoming agents of darkness and purveyors of fake news and destructive information dissemination through the present fad of “share this message” which is the reigning trend in various social media platforms.
Attah reminded media practitioners to reflect Christ in their conduct and actions while carrying out their duties knowing that all must give account to the giver of life and talent on the last day.
Other highlights of the event were question and answer sessions, insight by Rev. Sr Judith Ezeogu of the Immaculate Heart Sisters Congregation, musical performances and rib cracking jokes by Comedian Igwe White and Master of the Ceremony, Odii Chimezie Orji.