By Khalid Idris
Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state has commended the role played by the Nigerian Media in building democratic culture, institutions and practices in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility.
Bala was speaking when he chaired a public presentation of a book on the role of the “Media and Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy: Threats, Constraints and Resilience” organized by the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought on Thursday.
The book written by Paul Obi was reviewed by Professor Abiodun Adeniyi and the event was attended by renown politicians, diplomats and media practitioners.
In a press release issued by his media aide, Muktar Mohammed Gidado who also represented Bala at the event, the governor cautioned practitioners to shunt away bias reporting of events and remain steadfast with their professional calling.
He said, “Media supports the sustenance of our current democratic enterprise; how politicians relate to the Media while in office and the problematic relationship between politics, politicians and the media when their interests diverge.
“The current debate in Nigeria regarding the place of the media in Nigeria’s democratic transformation and consolidation relate to the role of the media in empowering civic spaces and strengthening democratic governance and the challenges the media face in engaging in such undertakings.
“It is a known fact that politicians can sometimes be excessive in trying to constrain the media and in turn the media, especially in this age of new and social media, can be excessive, intolerant and volatile in defence of its space or territory,” Bala said.
He called on practitioners of both domains to continually advocate for dialogue which will stimulate understanding, tolerance, respect and the spirit of give and take for the greater public good.
Governor Bala Mohammed thanked the organizers, authors and editors of the book for a well researched scholarly endeavor which has a direct practical bearing on media development and the Nigerian democracy.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief host, Dr. Sam Amadi applauded Governor Bala Mohammed for his media friendly disposition and more on account of being a media practitioner and a politician which reflects the essential concern and trust of the book.
Dr Amadi analyzes how the media is navigating Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria and its mediated democracy.
He said despite its constitutional role, recognizable as the fourth estate of the realm, the Nigerian media has a history of confronting daunting challenges headlong.