Democracy @ 20: Stick to ethical practices, journalists advised
From Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
Journalists have been urged to stick to ethical practices and resolve to engender prosperity through balanced reporting as major stakeholders in the country’s democracy.
They were also challenged to adequately perform their social responsibilities by calling for serious amendments into the numerous pitfalls of the 1999 Constitution.
These are the views of speakers at a Public Lecture to mark 20 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria organized by the Osun NUJ Correspondents Chapel in Osogbo on Wednesday.
The Guest Speaker at the event, Prof Anthony Kola-Olusanya urged journalists to be more critical in the assessment of governmental policies and programmes and do more to play key roles in serving as the mirror and watchdog of the society.
Also, the INEC Director of Voter Education, Venerable Stephen Ojewande called on the media to sensitize the public the more about the constitutionality of decisions taken by the commission.
He said the misconception generated by the cancellation and inconclusiveness of recent elections in the country should be discarded as the 4th Estate of the Realm must make the public understand the conditions for certain actions taken by the electoral body in the interest of the country.
”The major goal of INEC is to ensure that every vote counts. In achieving this, several actions taken in cases of inconclusiveness, record of electoral malpractices and security breaches are all in accordance with Section 52 Sub-Section 3 of the 1999 Constitution which forms the nucleus of the electoral act and INEC guidelines.”
In his remarks at the event, Osun state governor, Gboyega Oyetola who was represented by the Head of Service, Dr Olowogboyega Oyegbade challenged the media to alert the public and the legislature on issues plaguing the country which is as a result of the lacunas created by the military constitution.
He said the necessary areas of our nation’s laws which confer rights of citizens as the primary responsibility of government is shrouded in the societal goals under the Fundamental Objectives And Directive Principles of State Policy.
“The media should take a look at the constitution and see the lacunas therein. Chapter 2 which covers Section 23 addresses Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of state Policy and has in it basic rights according to the 2000 charter of the United Nations which forms our societal goals while Chapter 4 in Section 33 talks about Fundamental Human Rights which are inalienable and guaranteed all over the world.”
”The media should help call the attention of our legislators to this and see how the society will be better off if these things are taken care of.”
Oyetola urged the pen pushers to continue to support his administration’s resolve of taking the state of Osun to greater heights.