Set agenda for 2023 elections, Nwodo urges editors
Former Minister of Information and Culture, Chief John Nnia Nwodo has urged media practitioners especially the editors to set agenda that would help the electorate vote right candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
He reiterated that media practitioners still retain the power to help citizens make informed decisions regarding their well-being, development and progress through their inputs and media contents.
Nwodo, who is a former Special Assistant to President Shehu Shagari on Information, gave the charge at the 18th edition of the All Nigeria Editors Conference, which held in Owerri, at the weekend with the theme, ‘2023: Political Landscape, Credible Elections and the Role of Editors’.
According to him, “the agenda must require the candidates to speak up on their policies regarding fighting corruption, restructuring, transiting the country from a consumption economy to a production economy and stopping the brain drain occasioned by the exodus of our best brains to more promising climes.”
He added that candidates needed to also be interrogated on their readiness to enthrone merit, prudent management and accountability in the public service; tackle the overblown and over financed legislature and scrutinise the judiciary, which according to him, “exposes corruption and several other negative tendencies that compromise justice.”
He added: “You must interrogate the failure of the Nigerian Police Force leading to the #EndSARS riots. We must thoroughly investigate the readiness of INEC to conduct a free and fair election. Will the servers breakdown again?
“Any leading presidential candidate who doesn’t have well-thought out policies on these issues is not fit to lead Nigeria.” He continued: “As editors, you are the authors of reforms on national values, ethics and conduct of aspirants and holders of public office. Your power is coterminous with the nature of your work. In a way you wield and sustain the conscience of the nation. You help on the basis of your informed editorials to cultivate our values and standards for public office holders.
“I believe that if you conducted a careful inventory of properties of some past and present public office holders including civil servants and members of the judiciary, you would expose so much as to provoke an inquiry into how some of those assets were acquired.
“As editors in the public and private media, you have a pivotal influence in the affairs of this country. You have the wherewithal to progressively reform our values. You can stop the disdain with which our children hold us, for destroying their collective patrimony and heritage by acts of omission or commission. You can help to rebuild their confidence in our country. Already they are in a rage, which can consume us if we don’t act fast.”