Independent Media Practitioners and Good Governance in Nigeria

Today, Imo, Abia, Rivers and Bayelsa States are mindful of the existence of Independent Media Practitioners in their various states, because apart from the government, they are the next highest employers of labour, Ignatius Soroibe writes:

The role of the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm cannot be over-emphasized. This is because of the agenda setting role it plays to ensure that the more pronounced and conspicuous other popular arms of government like Executive, Legislature and Judiciary carry out their assigned roles and responsibilities as enshrined in the constitution.

An overview of the onerous tasks of the Independent Media can be better understood more from the perspective of the People's Republic of China, whose people's television and radio stations that is grassroot developed and centred has played a prominent role in the wide acclaimation that China is receiving all over the world. 

Japan is also in the eyes of the world today. After the second world war, Japan knew the whole world hated her, she then closed her doors and started doing everything in local and indigenous language with local contents and local delivery. Because of the robust nature of their Independent Media, who went out of their ways to do things and via into things national and international media organizations like CNN, BBC and Aljazera  cannot do, due to their local colours and specialized reportage.

In France, the Radio France International started operation in the nineteenth century as local media and independently owned but through dint of hardwork and nationalistic outlook, the state acquired the radio station and this radio is the most powerful station in the whole world today. It has gone into manufacturing and installation of radio channels and frequencies spreading its tentacles all over the world.

Here in Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo established Iwo-Irohin - a Yoruba venacular newspapers which later gave birth to Tribune Newspapers, that is ruling the western part of the country today.

The West African Pilot as established by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe became a thorn in the flesh of British Colonial Masters during the pre-colonial days, fighting and eventually setting agenda for the independence of Nigeria in 1960.

Therefore, the role of independent media in the act of setting agenda for good governance cannot be down-played. Local media as the name implies, are closed to the people, as located in the heart of the rural dwellers, they are noted for the use of local colours and also dramatize life, because of the professional use of local contents in their terms to inform, educate and entertain, which are their prominent roles. 

Across Nigeria, the local tabloid (local newspapers) are kings except in Ebonyi State because the Salt of the Nation state is still emerging, and was recently elevated from primitive level to the fourth stage of the development according to Prof. W.W. Rostow in his theories of development and underdevelopment,  by the transformative and project oriented Manager, Governor David Nweze Umahi - the pride of Ebonyi State and Igbo land.

Today, Imo, Abia, Rivers and Bayelsa States are mindful of the existence of Independent Media Practitioners in their various states, because apart from the government, they are the next highest employers of labour.

For example, Imo has forty independent media houses, Abia - twenty one, Rivers -twenty, Bayelsa - twenty five with each employing not less than five staff as drivers, litographers, reporters, computer operators, circulation officers, security-men, among others. That is why governors in these states see them as partners in progress by giving them deserving and commensurate appointments.

In addition to these, the citizens believe in them, because they understand their body movement and language. They are also easily accessible. Many image makers of these governors like Commissioner for Information, Chief Press Secretary, and other related aides are picked from them because they are the masters  of the arts and they know the terrain and the way.

Therefore, with the election of Prince Solomon Okorie, Publisher of Guide Post Newspapers/Magazines as the National President of National Association of Independent Media Practitioners (NAIMP) with other officials, on Monday 14th June 2021; a new and impressive chapter has been opened in the annals of proactive journalism in Ebonyi State and Nigeria as he and his team are prepared in charting a new course in media management and information technology.

While declaring the result of the election to the public in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, the Electoral Board Committe Chairman, Yours Sincerely Mr Ignatius Soroibe, Ebonyi State Correspondent of Nigeria Newspoint Newspapers, thanked the contestants and supporters for the high level of maturity exhibited during the exercise and tasked the new leadership to always carry their members along as to achieve the sole objectives of the body.

"By the grace of God, we are here today to conduct our election as to choose new leadership of this great association - Independent Media Practitioners, Ebonyi State Chapter, because, we believe in democracy and we are product of democracy.

"We have done our election and it was very successful, free and fair; and we are calling on the new leadership to carry all members along in their activities which was one of the major reasons the organization was formed."

Reacting, the newly elected National President of the Asssociation, Prince Solomon Okorie commended the electoral officers for their transparent and fair conduct of the election.

Okorie said, the exercise has proven that advanced democracy is achievable if given youth the power to rule the country.

He thanked the electorates and the security personnel who were present, and pledged to positively transform the organization as to attract higher recognition across other states of the country.

Mr. Ignatius Soroibe, our Guest Writer wrote from Abakalki, Ebonyi State capital.

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