The Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) FCT Chapter, in a bid to promote good governance and democracy in Nigeria, organised a two day town hall meeting with the theme: “Governance and Citizenship Participation: Making Democracy Work” recently in Abuja.
In his speech, the NUJ FCT Chapter Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbueche, charged Media professionals to be objective in their reportage and adhere strictly to the ethics of the profession.
Mr Ogbeche who reiterated that Journalists should be factual in their reporting also enjoined them to be guided by the social responsibilities of the press.
Chatting with the GreenLand News, Dr Joseph Ochogwu, from Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution who is one of the guest speaker said Citizens participation is central and critical to any democracy. The more citizens participate in a democracy, the better for the society.
According to him, “Citizens participation in the democratic process is the pathway for good governance. For democracy to work in Nigeria, Nigerians must massively participate in the entire democratic processes not just in elections. Beyond the elections, citizens must begin to galvanize their energy and resources to hold leaders accountable in order for them to effectively deliver services for the common good. We must quickly move from our current elitists democracy which has failed us to a people oriented democracy.”
Dr Joseph maintained that the 2023 elections are warning signs to the political elites to improve on our democracy which is at an evolutionary state; or we are must likely to be faced with a revolutionary democracy whose outcomes and unintended consequences are unimaginable.”
One of the panelists, Mr. Amos Duniya, Editor in-Chief, Forefront Magazine, urged citizens to stop patronizing politicians for crumbs but rather hold public officers responsible to delivering the dividends of democracy and good governance.
Duniya added that, once the dividends of democracy is delivered, the complaint of unemployment, infrastructure will be a thing of the past and citizens will be employed and have financial freedom.
In her Panel discussion, Kemi Yesufu, emphasized the role of social media in ensuring good governance and democracy, adding that social media is an open space, where Nigerians can air their views about almost everything including governance, accountability, transparency.
According to her: “In 2015, social media played important role in installing the present administration and they have continued in various way to hold government accountable. You can also see that social media played an integral role in organizing the EndSars protest, which is the most organized and the biggest citizens protest”. Kemi said.