July 13, 2024

Amaechi urges electorates to vote right people into positions of authority

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Akpan Umoh, Uyo

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has urged Nigerian electorates to vote the right people into positions of authority to salvage the country from the present problem.

Amaechi, who was a Special Guest of Honour during the 2022 World Press Freedom Day celebration in Uyo on Tuesday charged Nigerians to hold politicians accountable.

According to him, until we begin to hold every politician accountable, this country will not move forward. 

The minister, who is also a presidential aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) warned Journalists against writing mischief to malign public officers.

“The problem of the country is not the poor man in Akwa Ibom, is not the poor man in Rivers, is not the poor man in South East, neither is the poor man in the North. It is you and I the elites.

“The problem why you are hearing restructure, restructure, restructure is because the elites consensus towards sharing is disappearing, because there is nothing sharing because we are broke.

“The reality is before us, when we had $58 billion dollars, President Obasanjo handed over, what happened to the money. What happened, why did you not ask, every problem is President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We took over $2.5 billion dollars. When I said this, they say kill him, he doesn’t like his South-South people. The problem of the nation is caused by the elites, including you. Don’t forget who an elite is,” Amaechi said.

Amaechi charged Journalists to join hands and resolve the nation’s problems by ensuring objectivity, balance and fairness in their reportage.

He warned Journalists against mischief to malign politicians and public office holders, stressing that freedom comes with responsibility.

In his lecture, the guest lecturer, Dr Jones Ayuwo of the University of Port Harcourt said that without press freedom democracy cannot work.

Ayuwo, who spoke on the topic; “Journalism Under Digital Siege” said that jou5as the fourth estate of the realm was not just the moulders, but also, the watchdogs of the society.

He, however, said there has been a cat and mouse relationship between the press and governments; whether military or civilian, except when the Press allows itself to be cajoled, used, and manipulated by a government to suit its whims and caprices.

The Don said that so long as the internet remains an unregulated digital space in Nigeria, it would be difficult to totally eradicate fake news in the country.

He warned against regulating the internet, stressing that regulating the internet would mean regulating the media.

“Therefore, we must stand against any attempt by the government to regulate the Internet because if it is regulated, we also are regulated.

“If we are regulated, the freedom of the press is regulated. If press freedom is regulated our democracy is in imminent danger. 

“Therefore, I urge us to stand against every attempt from all corners that hampers free press as we celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

“However, it is also important to reawaken you all to your social responsibility as you go about your enviable duty of news gathering and reportage. This way, we will be able to curb the digital siege on the Press,” Ayuwo said.

In his remarks, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Akwa Ibom Council, Comrade Amos Etuk, said the state council would continue to update members on such new developments through periodic lectures and workshops. 

Etuk said these would not only keep journalists in the alive to their professional responsibilities, but will sharpen the security instincts to protect themselves and families.

“We join hands with other freedom-loving people around the world to urge governments to give journalists the space to practice and ensure the liberty of all,” Etuk said.

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