A Former Minister of Education, and the governor of ‘Bring back our girls, Oby Ezekwesili on Sunday, called on the media practitioners to, as a matter of urgency wake up to their responsibilities.
Stating this during a media chat “The Accountability Imperative: Holding Politicians’ feet to the fire,” in Abuja, on Sunday, July 9, 2023, the former minister said until media practitioners rose to their responsibilities in the society, politicians may think they are not answerable to anybody, and this will not bring about the desirable good governance need in the society.
According to her, each time media practitioners could not carry out their obligations, politicians would have the momentum to continue to impoverish the masses.
She said until media practitioners rose to their responsibilities, politicians might never deliver good governance to Nigerians.
“It is established empirically that the media is central to the development of any society. The 1999 Constitution empowers the media to hold public officeholders accountable.
“No group is feared like media practitioners, Therefore, media organisations must live up to expectations,” Ms Ezekwesili said.
However, she warned that it is about time for Nigerian media practitioners to rise above sentiments and hold politicians accountable for discharging the role of the media as the fourth estate of the realm.
The former vice-president of the Africa Region of the World Bank expressed her concern that media practitioners in Nigeria were no longer holding politicians accountable like in the past.
According to her, some politicians have made themselves demigods and have remained nonchalant to the plight of the masses.
“When we talk about accountability, what upsets people the most is that you dared to speak up objectively and publicly about matters that concern the people.
“All over the world, what is known of the government is that it exists to deliver improvements in the quality of life and to ensure the security of lives and property,” she said.
She said it was time for media professionals to fashion out factors responsible for the inability of the media to carry out its constitutional responsibilities effectively.
According to her, until the media can look inward to fashion out lasting solutions to problems mitigating its responsibilities to the citizenry, it will not be able to hold politicians to account.
Also, Haroun Adamu, a former managing director of the Triumph Publishing Company, said the history of Nigeria would not be complete without recourse to the media.
He said many journalists in Nigeria had lost their lives while holding politicians to account.
Mr Adamu noted that most of the journalists who lost their lives in the course of their duties never had life insurance.