….Says all political parties rig elections
By Amaechi Okwara
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson on Friday criticised the unfairness reportage of some media owners who are in politics, saying that “if the media owners are politicians, then you don’t expect the medium to report accurately and that is why we are getting it wrong.”
The Governor stressed the need for media practitioners to be neutral in their reportage of happenings across the country, saying that “to a large extent, the media has not done enough, often times, the media takes sides”.
Governor Dickson who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson stated this at the 14th All Editors’ Conference (ANEC), with the theme: “Credible Election, Sustainable Democracy and the Nigerian Media”, in Asaba, Delta State capital said such unfair reports does not illicit confidence and trust from the electorate, stressing that for the media to play the role of a true watchdog of the society, the industry must be fair.
Mr. Iworiso-Markson said that he media should report events and issues as they were and leave judgment for the public, “we are not doing enough of that. We are more or less taking side and we have favored candidates in most cases”.
According to him, “professionals, journalists should not look up to their employers as it has a way of coloring the whole essence, “we have to be truly independent whether we like it or not, we have to allow the ethics of our profession to guide what we do”.
Information Commissioner however commended the Delta State governor and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Special National Convention Planning Committee, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, over the just concluded party primaries which produced the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2019 general election.
On his part, former Director of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Dennis Amakree said that all political parties in Nigeria rig elections saying that opposition parties cry out when it doesn’t favour them at the particular time.
Speaking on theme, ” ensuring violence free elections, Mr. Amakree canvassed for mass voters education among politicians and voters to get it right in election process in the country.
He lamented that lack of democratic culture and internal democracy in the political party have been a threat to democracy.
Former SSS Director expressed optimism despite a lot of challenges facing elections that there would be violence free election only if the politicians and security agents work together to arrest anybody who intimidates electorates at the point of voting.