Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on media practitioners in the country to join civil society groups and other well meaning Nigerians in condemning politicians, who undermine national institutions, particularly the Nigerian Judiciary to subvert justice against the will of the people.
Governor Dickson made the call on Thursday, when the chairman of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. John Angese led a special delegation to pay him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
He observed that, democracy would be endangered, if the Fourth Estate of the Realm abdicate its watchdog role in society, stressing that,the media have what it takes to clean up the political space to strengthen the rule of law.
The Governor described as unfortunate, the situation where some political actors, particularly, in the last Bayelsa governorship election attempted to upturn the proceedings of the Election Petitions Tribunal with impunity, as their party controls the central government.
Hon. Dickson wondered why the standard bearer of the main opposition party in the state could challenge the outcome of an election where the PDP won fair and square in 7 out of the 8 local government areas, stressing that it was only in Nigeria such political recklessness could take place.
He said, “My opponent in the last general elections never had any credible case. He lost the election completely, which was won and lost before the entire world. It is because of the type of the politics people play in Nigeria that, political leaders, who lose elections still think somehow through one shenanigan or the other, the Judiciary can somehow award them victory that the people did not award them; that they did not earn through the votes.
“It is unfortunate. If it were in some decent societies, they had no business challenging the election. In fact, he would have earned more credit and respect by calling me to congratulate me as the former president did to President Muhammadu Buhari. That would have been a beautiful day for Bayelsa in democracy. It is only in Nigeria that politicians like that can lose an election woefully and still expect to win through the back door by manipulating the Judiciary.”
Governor Dickson, who appreciated the contributions and support of the media practitioners to the development activities of his administration, charged them to uphold the tenets of their profession in the discharge of their duties.
Responding to the council’s requests, he approved the release of N10 million pledge earlier made for the NUJ Library project and directed the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure to visit the Press Centre, with a view to tackling the flooding and other challenges affecting the secretariat.
The Governor, who also approved a bus for the council, assured Journalists that, the government would give them priority attention in its low cost housing scheme, which would commence within the life of the present administration.
On training, Governor Dickson promised to carry media personnel along and directed the Commissioner for Information to liaise with the NUJ to come up with a harmonized proposal for the training and re-training of civil servants, as part of efforts to boost human capacity development.
In his remarks, Chairman of the State Council of the NUJ, Mr. John Angese congratulated the Governor on his victory at the tribunal and commended him for his developmental strides, especially in creating a liberal environment for media practitioners to operate freely in the state.
Angese also explained that, though, the visit was billed to have taken place last year, shortly after the election of the Executive Council on the 8th of October, 2015, but it coincided with the Governor’s campaign tours, which prompted the shelving of the planned visit