Taraba Speaker tasks electorate on voting credible aspirants
Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Joseph Albasu Kunini, has charged Nigerians to elect political office seekers based on their credibility, track records and people-oriented manifestos, rather than on ethnic or religious considerations.
He stated this, yesterday, while hosting media practitioners in Jalingo and charged journalists to desist from allowing politicians to use ethnicity or religion to canvass support and votes and to always engage aspirants on their manifestos.
Kunini also stressed the need for the media to collaborate with civil society organisations to organise live television and radio debates for those aspiring to the presidency of the country and governorship position of Taraba State.
Citing the role of journalists from the colonial era to the present dispensation, he maintained that the media could do more to ensure the emergence of credible persons in political positions in 2023 and beyond.
“Politics has started gathering momentum ahead of 2023 and some aspirants have started seeking support, while others are waiting and consulting widely before declaring their intentions to contest various elective offices at the state and federal levels,” he said.
He noted that the fourth republic, which has spanned 21 years, also affirmed the need for the media to ensure a paradigm shift in their reportage, adding that there is the need for paradigm shift in the role of the media in the present political dispensation.
“It has become necessary to review the ability of the media practitioners to influence important issues of public agenda, rather that dissipating their energy on mundane issues and blackmail,” he added.
While urging journalists to use their pen as weapon of mass communication and not a weapon of mass destruction of personalities, he pointed out that the era where aspirants boast of majority ethnic nationality to aspire to elective offices at the council, state and national levels was over.
“As media practitioners and members of the fourth estate of the realm, as well as the fourth pillar of democracy, you must set an agenda for political aspirants. The agenda setting is the theory that the news media shapes how members of the public perceive politics and ultimately, how they vote during elections,” said.