By Luka Daniel (Bauchi),
A polytechnic Don with the Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi State, Mr John Ogbole has lashed out at politicians, describing them as the biggest obstacle that hinders journalists to the cause of promoting Justice as well as upholding the rule of law in Nigeria.
Mr Ogbole who is also a staff of the NBC and a lecturer with the department of Mass communication ATAP in Bauchi stated this Thursday while delivering a paper to mark this years World Press Day with the theme: 'Keeping Power in Check, Media, Justice and the Rule of Law' which was organized by the Bauchi state Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists at the council Secretariat.
The Lecturer who maintained that media has always been the most unfortunate victim during elections, added that the World Press Day as set aside will accord media practitioners the opportunity to reflect on the challenges, successes and the journey so far in the bid to articulate more for the next period ahead.
John Ogbole while noting that press is a link between government and the govern however lamented that in recent times some section of the media have colluded with some elements within the society to vilify good men while praise singing looters of our common resources to greater high heavens.
"The biggest threat to press freedom, preventing journalists from promoting Justice and Upholding the rule of law in Nigeria today is nobody but the politicians. They have colluded with some section of the press to lie and deceived people in the society" , he pointed out.
The academician expressed dismay that a politician will construct a single road and look for the journalist to write a report that would look as if he has constructed more than ten roads.
He said, "the politician will soiled himself in corruption and other nefarious activities and will become as dark as the moonless night but when election approaches he will pay you, the journalist to make him look in the eyes of the public like a bright morning star".
"Are you now a magician? Are you now a spiritual fathers or are you a dry cleaners to overnight change a dirty politician into a bright morning star and present them to the society as people to be elected into our public offices? He queried.
Ogbole who further noted with regret that some journalists have because of peanut allowed themselves to be misused by corrupt politicians instead of sticking to the ethical values of the noble profession however said the Nigerian press has fared well in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities over the years.
On the way forward, Mr John stressed the need for government to give full independence to the Press like other arms of government and the Nigeria Union of Journalists should flush out quack from the profession which according to him many people have found their way in because they have no job to do.
He also called on media chiefs to train and retrain their staff for optimum performance.
The Chairman of the Bauchi State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Mohammed Malam Goje, had earlier in a speech reminded that the World Press day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1993 to enable journalists pay tribute to their colleagues who lost their lives in the cause of their duties.
Comrade Goje, who appealed to the government to consider the freedom of press with utmost priority also called on Bauchi state government not to relent in ensuring the digitalization of the state own media outfits, BATV and BRC before the end of the dateline earlier given.