The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has said that journalists were very critical to the success of the nation’s political process.
Dogra made the remark in Kaduna at a National Colloquium on Elections, Corruption and Road Map to 2019 Elections organised by the Kaduna State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The speaker, who was represented the Chief Whip of the House, Ado Doguwa, said journalists have a constitutional mandate to ensure that those in authority remain accountable to the people.
“The media should be the number one arm of government as democracy is an all inclusive method which carries everyone along.
‘He who controls the minds of the people controls the minds of the society, this is true as the Nigerian Journalists contribute 75 percent to the success of elections,’’ Dogara said.
The Speaker, however, urged media practitioners to desist from writing fake reports as it only ends up creating problems within the society .
The National President of the NUJ, Waheed Odusile, called on political parties to put their heads together so as to move the country forward.
”We call on all political parties to put their heads together. For a journey, there must be a vehicle and without it there will be no movement ” he said.
Odusile said the Nigerian Constitution has specifically mandated the media to ensure it carried out its mandate by monitoring governance.
He stressed the need for the media to operate freely and urged members to be mindful of what they write so as to avoid overheating the polity.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Kaduna state NUJ, Adamu Yusuf also called on media practitioners to always say the truth and be objective in their reports.
Yusuf said the journalist is the overseer of truth and justice.
”We are expected to adhere strictly to the principle of equity, brotherhood, national interest, global peace and objective reportage even against our erring members .”