RE-EVALUATING COMMUNICATION USE IN THE QUEST FOR NATIONAL UNITY

Mercy Tartsea-Anshase (PhD), Ben Odeba, Ruth Barnabas

Abstract


The paper explores the forms and means of communication used to enhance national unity and observes that though a lot of efforts have been made in the use of communication for national unity, it seems the desired result is far from been achieved. Adopting Yale’s Persuasion Theory and Cognitive Dissonance Theory of Behaviour and Attitude Change Communication, the paper argues that in spite of humongous efforts being made by individuals, groups, governmental and non-governmental organizations, media organizations, Festivals of Art and Culture and Carnivals, much more is still desired in terms of genuine national unity in Nigeria. Lack of attitude and behaviour change have been identified as some of the factors militating against national unity. Boko Haram insurgency, communal crisis and conflict, killer herdsmen, disregard for moral and human values such as respect for elders as well as respect for one another, love, honesty and sanctity of human life also account for disunity. The paper also argues that every communication must have a message or information to pass across. The paper further raises the question: “in all sincerity. what is it that binds us together?”  Thus, at all levels of society appropriate forms of communication should be employed in communicating the dire need for national unity.  It is also the stand of this paper that without consistent and effective use of Behaviour Change Communication which influences people’s attitude and behaviour towards peaceful co-existence, experiencing genuine unity in Nigeria will continue to be far from reality.  Lack of attitude and behaviour change have been identified as some of the factors militating against national unity.  How much value do we attach to such binding forces? The paper therefore, recommends that to succeed in living together peacefully as a nation, the rich values of Nigeria such as honesty, hard work, being one’s brother’s keeper and the highest regard for human life should be adequately and consistently communicated, re-evaluated, reemphasized, absorbed and zealously upheld by all.  


Keywords


re-evaluating, communication, quest, national unity

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