Governor Akpabio Seeks Media Vigilance for the Survival of Democracy
13 Apr 2010
Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has called on the Nigerian media to exercise vigilance and to guard against any conduct that may derail the nation’s nascent democracy. The call was contained in a keynote address at a one-day conference on The Challenges Facing a Democratizing Nation, organized by the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists recently.
Represented at the event by the state commissioner of information and social reorientation, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the governor said that the media has paid a great price for democracy and must not allow themselves to be used to derail it.
According to him “I want to urge the media to remain very vigilant and not lend your pages and airwaves as agents of destabilization. Journalists should therefore, not destroy this democracy we all fought for. They should not lend themselves to be used by unpatriotic elements to wage private battles and to write and promote malicious and dishonest petitions. Let the media practice the social responsibility theory of the press, and remain noble Praetorian Guards of our democracy. Let the media be the conscience of our nation and help to heal all our open wounds.” The governor advised.
The governor went further to list the challenges facing Nigeria’s democratization to include, poverty, disunity, inadequate power supply, the Niger Delta, free and fair elections, among others and urged the media to use the opportunity of the conference to brainstorm and proffer solutions to these challenges.
According to the governor “There is consensus among Nigerians that in the next general elections our votes must count, and that brings us to the issue of free and fair elections. This is a challenge, not just to the INEC but to all Nigerians; the media, politicians, and the civil society organizations.”
The governor explained that he has given meaning to democracy in Akwa Ibom State by laying a solid foundation for the industrial growth of the state through massive infrastructural development across the state. His words “in less than three years, we have built 170 roads, three fly over bridges, a 3.7km underground flood control project, the first of its kind in this clime. We have constructed and dualized state and federal roads, we have built and completed an ultra-modern Governor’s Lodge in a record time of 14 months, and we have connected 850 rural communities to the national grid in a campaign to ensure no community is in darkness in 2011; we have delivered CAT2 International Airport with a 3.6km runway expandable to 4.5km, and an MRO facility,” he maintained.
The event, which also featured a goodwill message from the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, urging the media to continue to play its role as the watchdog of democracy, also witnessed the presence of eminent personalities across the country.