El-Rufai, Guardian Editor, Urge Journalists To Support Fight Against Corruption
GOVERNOR Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has challenged Nigerian journalists to live up to their responsibility and support the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption and also expose those who are bent on destroying the nation’s economy.
The governor spoke as the chief host at the opening of a five-day retreat for Abuja State House Correspondents in Kaduna yesterday, saying that it was time for the media to up rise to its responsibility as partners in progress with government to fight corruption and return sanity to all sectors of the economy.
Lamenting the havoc that the past government wrecked on the economy, El-Rufai said that all hands must be on deck to expose those who have stolen from the nation’s treasury and make sure that they account for their past deeds. He warned journalists against being used by those who looted the treasury under the immediate past government in other to cover their track.
According to him, “There is the possibility those retrogressive elements who looted the country’s treasury will likely want to fight back. And the media is likely to be the tools in their hands to fight back. My advice is for you to deny them access to use you to propagate their course at the expense of the nation and masses of this country”
Meanwhile, in the keynote paper delivered by the Editor of The Guardian newspaper, Mr. Martins Onoja, advised the media to continue to strive in promoting public and national interests in their reportage. According to him, “public interest is commonly presumed to be fundamental to the practice of journalism. And so journalists and the media organisations for which they work routinely always assume that they are able to identify what is in the public interest, and act accordingly.”
He said that most times, some State House and Government Office reporters impose self- censorship on themselves because of what they assume too as protecting national interest (not public interest) as defined by the operatives in the presidency, assuming that they will be expelled from the powerful place if they report scoops that the president’s men would not like.
“They always assume that the state officials especially the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the President or Governor (in the State) would not need the permission of the Special Adviser, Media before withdrawing their accreditation if they (reporters) disclose some odd and unpleasant events and behaviours in the seat of power. Really, these influential officers always accuse scoop reporters of threatening national security just because of a harmless disclosure in the office of the president or governor or even minister,” he said.
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