JOURNALISTS ARE URGEED TO DO OBJECTIVE REPORTING AND FORWARD-LOOKING LAWS BY IBADIN, MAKANJUOLA, BELLO, SONUSI, AND OTHERS
Mr. Matthew Ibadin, a popular security expert, and public relations officers from various security agencies who spoke at the recently concluded NAOSNP one-day media workshop have tasked journalists to use their power to promote the enactment and implementation of laws that would benefit the generality of the Nigerian population while also ensuring that they report news objectively.
Mr. Matthew Ibadin, MD/CEO of Badinson Security, stated in his presentation at the media workshop that journalists have a responsibility to use their profession to promote Nigeria through positive reporting. That is, there must be a collective effort deployed in projecting the country’s good image.
This is the time for every journalist to celebrate Nigeria, and we must conduct journalism that is focused on rebranding the country rather than chasing out investors.’
National security must always come first in every report to avoid scaring away investors, development, or casting a negative light on their country.
This means that some material should not be shared or publicised, especially when it involves national security, and that fake news should be avoided. ‘
Mr. Ibadin also charged journalists with using their platforms to lobby for legislation.
NAOSNP believes that the National Assembly should be pushed to establish legislation prohibiting elected government officials and appointees from using generators, solar panels, and other alternatives to generate power for use other than the national power supply (electricity).
This is due to Nigeria’s continuing epileptic power supply, which in many regions of the country is non-existent, while those that use power on a regular basis pay astronomical prices.
“The absence of electricity/power supply has led many investors and firms to transfer to other nations, throwing millions of able-bodied youths out of work, causing commodity inflation, and eventually increasing the crime rate,” he stated.
Governments in the past and present have spent billions of naira trying to solve this problem, all to no avail because the government, the elite, and appointees can easily purchase alternate power sources. It is past time for those who practise this great profession (journalism) to use their professional pen to alter the narratives.
The media must lobby the National Assembly to pass legislation prohibiting top government officials, appointees, and other senior public officials from using generators and/or other alternative energy sources in their offices and homes.
It’s hardly rocket science to have a constant power supply. It’s time to demand it and get it so that investors and artisans who have been harmed and driven out of business can re-enter the market, creating more jobs, increasing production, and eventually growing the economy. I can guarantee you that if power is always available, crime will drop dramatically because millions of our youth will be able to work. ‘
He also wants journalists and the media to press the National Assembly to create a law prohibiting elected officials and appointees from sending their children or wards to private schools or institutions because they are public officials.
Also, a law prohibiting all elected government officials and civil servant appointees, as well as their directors, from using private hospitals or travelling abroad for medical treatment; instead, they and their families must use public hospitals, and if the need arises to travel abroad for medical attention, such an individual must resign his or her appointment or position.
“A typical example was the planned strike action by the Nigerian Local Airline Association due to the high cost of aviation fuel, which was abruptly called off because it would negatively affect the activities and lives of the elite, politicians, and government, and expose them to the dangers and insecurity they would encounter through land travel,” he said.
The government, the elite, and politicians moved quickly to reach an agreement with the airlines. However, they have failed to resolve and find a long-term solution to the never-ending standoff with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), simply because most government officials and politicians’ children/wards are educated outside Nigeria’s shores and have little or no concern for the educational system here.
The media must continue to focus on the education system until it is competitive and can compete with other countries’ educational systems.
Mr. Ibadin also took the opportunity to urge journalists to push for constitutional reforms in areas like removing the term “state of origin” from the constitution and replacing it with “state of residence,” as well as local government policing rather than state policing because crime is committed locally.
Major AK Bello, Public Relations Officer, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, warned Nigerian journalists against rushing to the press with news that is harmful to the Nigerian nation and, by extension, the general public. In the pursuit of professionalism, ‘etiquettes must be examined before tales are published, even if they are true.
We understand that you have a responsibility to do your job, but what happens if you do your job and the country burns? Who benefits? “When topics of substantial concern are uncovered, courtesy asks that the agencies involved be called, and there will always be a way to control the situation so that problems do not develop to dangerous proportions,” Bello told the press.
Instead of spreading nasty things about us, use your initiative; just identify the vehicle body code, the location, and the time the officer misbehaved,’ said Major Bello, the Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC, Lagos Sector Command. We can then trace the cop and punish him or her.
She urged journalists to report defaulting personnel to the agency for disciplinary action, while also stating that the agency was doing everything possible to decrease traffic accidents.
In his lecture, Assistant Superintendent of Corps I (ASCI) Abolurin Oluwaseun Olumide of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Public Relations Officer (CDPRO), Lagos State Command, stated that journalists and security services must work together.
“The importance of the media collaborating with security authorities cannot be overstated, given the current realities of our world,” he said. He gave journalists instructions on national interest, caution, objectivity, observation, timeliness, and the noble profession’s ethics.
“Security Reporting: The Role of the Media” was the theme of the event, which simultaneously commemorated World Press Freedom Day.