2023: Media Critical To Successful Transition In Nigeria – Akeredolu, Adedipe

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Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and the PDP Senatorial Candidate for Ondo Central, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, have insisted that roles of Journalists and media organizations are critical to a successful elections and transition of power in the country.

The two Senior Lawyers therefore  charged media professionals to arm themselves and critically guide Nigerians on the best set of candidates they should elect in the country in order to correct the ills of the society.

Akeredolu and Adedipe gave the charge in Akure at the 2022 Press Week Opening Ceremony/Symposium organised by the Ondo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), with the theme: “2023 Elections: Media Roles in the Quest for Desirable Leadership.”

Earlier, the Ondo State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Prince Leke Adegbite, had highlighted some of the Achievements of the union under his watch in the last five months including securing the payment of retirees at Owena Press, (The Hope newspaper), regular medical outreach for journalists, Training and facelift of facilities at the Press Centre, Akure among others.

Adegbite called for a special bailout to revamp various federal government-owned Radio and Television stations nationwide, challenging government to address the economic hardship confronting the citizenry.

Declaring open the press week, the Governor maintained that most journalists in the country are doing well in the building up to the 2022 general election, but urged NUJ and other media stakeholders to stamp out quacks and rising cases of fake news which could pose a serious threat to the polls.

Akeredolu who was represented by one of his Aides and Chairman, OSRC/Orange FM Media Group, Mr Kunle Adebayo acknowledged healthy cooperation between the media and his administration, commending Ondo State NUJ members and leadership under the Chairman, Prince Leke Adegbite for ensuring balanced and fair reportage of happenings in the state especially political activities as the general election draw nearer.

Adedipe who spoke on the theme: “2023 Elections: Media Roles in the Quest for Desirable Leadership”, enjoined the media to be mindful of sponsored political news or publications capable of inciting hatred, division, violence, and chaos in the country, while also ensuring that the electoral umpire and other stakeholders play their roles in delivering free, fair, credible and transparent elections to Nigerians.

The PDP Candidate said: “The press is singled out in the constitutional provision to hold government accountable and it is the role of the press according to the constitution, to report objectively and hold government accountable, so one the roles we expect from the media in 2023 elections will be to hold whoever hopes to be our leaders accountable.

“At the moment, when you read the papers or watch the television or social media, the kind of interrogation that one will expect aren’t there. In Africa, particularly in Nigeria, we keep having reluctant leaders, who are elected into positions, it is therefore the role of the press to have the electorate choose wisely.

According to him, “If someone says he will bring down the value of dollar to Naira, it is the role of the media to ask him how? We didn’t ask this question the other time and we are leaving with the consequences of our failure to ask”.

Adedipe also commended the state governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for championing the course of Amotekun formation in the South West region.

“I commend his Excellency, Arakunrin Akeredolu for the good job by formating Amotekun. That is the only governor in the South West that has the audacity, the capacity, the boldness to say, I will defend my people and I besiege NUJ to take other governors in this zone to task”, the PDP Candidate added.

The Chairman of the occasion and Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, represented by Prof David Folorunso urged media practitioners to re-strategize its formation dissemination during electioneering season towards educating the people.

Also Speaking, the Ondo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole, hailed journalists for their efficiency in reporting political activities in line with ethics of their profession.

Contributing, the General Manager, Radio Nigeria, Positive FM , Mrs Olubunmi Olalere  encouraged Journalists to interrogate candidates seeking elective positions on their programmes to enable the electorate make informed decisions.

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