Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has called on media practitioners across the country not to allow politicians to manipulate them into spreading fake news and heating the polity.
Bello made the call in his address at the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference 2021 (ANEC) organised by Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) on Friday in Abuja.
The theme of conference is “Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus”.
The governor said that media practitioner should not be doing the old thing in the current trend and expect different result.
“If you allow the politicians to continue to set the agenda for this country, especially in the area of selecting leaders, from top-down or bottom-up, then, I don’t think we are ready to get the country on the right track.
” This is because, whether we like it or not, Nigeria will always be who or what we want it to be when journalists and media owners set the correct agenda for the politicians, and Nigerians and drive it through.
He said that God would not send an angel to become the president of Nigeria.
“It is Nigerians that will have to choose their leaders to fix the various challenges facing the country.”
“By the time you allow the politicians to continue to drive the agenda, whatever you see, you should take it. This is democracy and numbers matter.
” Also, communication to the masses are usually through the media. How you set the agenda and messages to the people matter. If you do not communicate the right message to the people, we will continue to have who we do not desire.
“It takes decisive, courageous, fair-minded and balanced leader to be able to fix this country and to be able to fix our challenges as a nation.
“However, it requires the collaboration, understanding, and painstaking agenda setting of the media, to educate, sensitive and teach our people on the various steps of how to select the next leader or leadership,” Bello said. (NAN)