The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna State Council held its maiden Democracy Day lecture to review role of the media in democracy and good governance, where journalists were tasked to carry out advocacy journalism and expose political thieves.
Nigeria marked Democracy Day on Wednesday, June 12, in honour of late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the1993 election, said to be the freest and fairest election.
The public lecture at Arewa House, Kaduna, according to NUJ Vice President (North West), Comrade Yusuf Idris, became necessary to awaken the media practitioners to be alive to their constitutional responsibility of holding government accountable to the citizens.
Delivering the lecture titled,
“Strengthening Democracy, Good Governance and Role of the Media,” former Chairman of Kaduna Council of NUJ, and veteran journalist, Andrew Fadason, decried how Nigeria democracy has been bastardised by politicians over the years. He said June 12 called for sober reflection for the turns of event and not celebration.
Speaking specifically on APC’s last administration at the federal level, Fadason expressed concern over the way and manners in which about N30 trillion appropriated within the last four year under review was expended without proportionate impact on Nigerians.
According to the former Editor of New Nigerian Newspapers Weekend, “about N30trn have been appropriated in the past four years. What has happened to this money? Journalists have not been holding public office holders to account. It is time for activism journalism.
“There are many ways we can hold these people accountable to their followers. Nigerian journalists should know they hold the key to Nigerian future. They must ask questions. They must tell electorate not to vote for those political thieves when they come to canvass for their votes after years of failed representation,” he said.
Chairman of the occasion, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Dialogue Group of Companies, Alhaji Mahdi Shehu, attributed the misfortune bedevilling the country to serial lies and deceptive nature of Nigerians especially a sizable number of their past and present leaders.
He said despite the current situation the country has found itself, Nigerians have pretentiously agreed that things are moving on as expected which he described as “unfortunate. Most Nigerians are shameless and that is why Nigeria is sick. If we are persistently doing bad and we are not repentant, the judgement day awaits all of us.
“Politicians delude Nigerians into errantly believing lies and inaccuracy of their stewardship and this is the time for serious journalists to be professionals and to be upright at all times to defend the integrity of country. You must not allow your medium to use you to destroy humanity,” he advised.
Chairman CEO of Pinnacle Communications, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, CEO of Enviplan International, who is also President of Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), Engr Musa Nimrod and Founder Derservation.org, Dr Sani Adamu, were honoured for their contribution to good governance and democracy.