By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
With Nigeria still yearning for an entrenched democratic culture and a flourishing economic agenda, security agents, politicians, journalists and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project have called on the media to help refocus the drifting ship of the nation so as to berth in a safe haven for the country to accomplish its full potential now
and in the future.
This was the fallout of talk shows and anniversary lecture marking the one year of an online news medium, Paragon News and the 40th birthday of an Executive Member of the Oyo state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ademola Babalola, who is also the state correspondent of THISDAY Newspaper.
In the lecture entitled: “What Roles for the Media Ahead of 2019 Election?”, the guest lecturer, Mr. Femi Babalola, admonished the media to live up to their billings as the fourth estate of the realm by engaging in more serious investigative reporting on the antecedents
of the would-be leaders at every level of governance in the country.
Babalola, the Chairman of Pentagon Engineering and Jogor Events Centre, who articulated the roles for journalists at this crucial stage of the nation’s life, regretted the prostrate state of our economy and the lurking social crisis which he said should be of concern to the media. He was emphatic that the media have a duty to ensure that the current economic crisis does not degenerate to social crisis.
“At the setting in of social crisis, we will return to the state of nature where both life and property would no longer be safe or guaranteed as a result of widespread anarchy that will result. As I have said earlier, both economic and social stability are functions of diligent governance and adept leadership. So your focus right away, giving your power of command and control as journalists, is to guide this great nation to right political choice in 2019. That patriotic role, dear pen pushers, begins right away,” Babalola added.
A former Editor-In-Chief of Nigerian Tribune, Mr. Felix Adenaike, enjoined the political class not to be complacent that Nigerian voters are robots, stressing: “This is the reason why as media professionals, we should always put them on their toes by making sure that we are duly involved in setting agenda for good governance, accountability and probity as demanded of us in the constitution (section 22). This lecture is timely and should be emulated by all media professionals.”
The Commissioner of Information in the state, Hon. Toye Arulogun chided some journalists for their penchant for blackmail and publication of unfounded rumours to bring down people in government, adding that, the era of investigative and responsible journalism is
gone, a development, he added, ‘called to question the sincerity of the media in entrenching good governance, probity and accountability in the country riddled with graft and corrupt practices’.