Mimiko demands media involvement in leaders’ emergence
He said the media could not be excused from the process and monitoring of their activities as they are largely saddled with the responsibilities of caring for the society and inhabitants at large.
The governor spoke in Akure at a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of ECOWAS where discussions focused on “The Sensitisation Programme On The Role Of Media in Deepening Democracy and De-escalating Violent Conflicts in the West African Sub-Region.”
Mimiko, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kayode Akinmade, said ECOWAS had justified its existence by sustaining peaceful co-existence and harmony among member-states.
He said there was no doubt that the democratization process in most of the West African countries in particular, and Africa in general, was associated with tensions and conflicts, hence the need in creating a platform through which a common purpose could be achieved, noting that the sub-region had equally experienced devastating intra-state conflicts with far-reaching consequences in virtually all aspects of human endeavour.
The governor added that in as much as ECOWAS has remained resolute in assisting member-states to deepen democracy in accordance with extant protocol, it is imperative to employ a better medium to preach the need for societal understanding and inclusiveness in democratic processes.
Mimiko, while advocating that the role of the media should be tailored towards making the democratic process work, advised that it should be done in a positive way to steer off.
“Media practitioners must be objective in the discharge of their duties. They must ensure that the ethics of the profession are strictly adhered to. Everyone knows that all media organizations are established for a purpose, but decorum must be played up in the process of carrying out duties and responsibilities,” he admonished.
The media, the governor averred, must be objective and focused in making the society crisis-free while its value must be evident in deepening democracy and sustaining the process.
For the media to justify its place in a growing democracy, Mimiko said it must inform the public on democratic choices through clarification of complex issues, particularly in an age where information is the driving force for economic advancement, adding that this also impacts greatly on international events and lives daily.
“As an agenda setter, there is a need for public media to provoke public debate leading to greater public participation in important decisions while, at the same time, uncovering abuses and pointing up methodologies for their rectification. For us to have a democratisation process devoid of crisis, conflicts or tension, the media must be up and doing by alerting and mobilising public opinion to humanitarian causes and addressing the issue of injustice, just as different views of all political shades and their ideological approaches towards certain issues are projected to allow political pluralism,” he charged.