Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has commended the role played by the Nigerian media in building democratic culture, institutions and practices in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility.
Mohammed was speaking in Abuja yesterday when he chaired a public presentation of a book on the role of the “Media and Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy: Threats, Constraints and Resilience” organised by the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.
He also performed the double role as the Chairman and Chief Presenter of the groundbreaking book where he was represented by his Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Mr. Mukhtar Gidado.
Mohammed thanked the organisers, authors and editors of the book for a well-researched scholarly endeavor, which has a direct practical bearing on media development and the Nigerian democracy.
He reminded the gathering how the media had been supporting the sustenance of the current democratic enterprise; how politicians relate to the media while in office and the problematic relationship between politics, politicians and the media when their interests diverge.
He further lamented that the current debate in Nigeria regarding the place of the media in Nigeria’s democratic transformation and consolidation relate to the role of the media in empowering civic spaces and strengthening democratic governance and the challenges the media face in engaging in such undertakings .
“It is a known fact that politicians can sometimes be excessive in trying to constrain the media and in turn the media, especially in this age of new and social media, can be excessive, intolerant and volatile in defence of its space or territory.
He called on practitioners of both domains to continually advocate for dialogue, which would stimulate understanding, tolerance, respect and the spirit of give and take f or the greater public good.
In his concluding remarks, Governor Mohammed called on politicians, journalists and other Nigerians to make good use of the books and cautioned practitioners to shun bias reporting of events and remain steadfast with their professional calling.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chief host, Dr. Sam Amadi, applauded Governor Bala Mohammed for his media friendly disposition.
Amadi analysed how the media is navigating African’s most populous nation, Nigeria, and its mediated democracy.
He said that despite its constitutional role and recognition as the fourth estate of the realm, the Nigerian media has a history of confronting daunting challenges headlong.
The book that was written by Mr. Paul Obi was reviewed by Professor Abiodun Adeniyi and the event was attended by renowned politicians, diplomats and media practitioners.