ADDRESS BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
SENATOR ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON
ON THE OCCASION
OF THE COMMISSIONING OF
NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY (NTA) MAIDUGURI
NEWLY INSTALLED DIGITAL
AND STUDIO FACILITIES
THIS DAY, MAY 7, 2002.
I am delighted to be in your midst today on this grand occasion of the official commissioning of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Maiduguri’s newly installed digital 10 Kilowatt transmitter and studio facilities. It is to me both an honour and a privilege especially when I see the array of accomplished men and women that constitute the personnel of this 25-year-old broadcast outfit.
My joy is further magnified by the fact that this station is also marking its silver jubilee this year. Happy silver jubilee NTA Maiduguri. I wish to also seize this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of the Nigerian media especially the NTA in nation building.
For at this time of our national life, it has become expedient for us to re- evaluate the role of, and challenges before the media in a growing democracy such as ours. We have seen the media play an advocacy role in the pre-Independence era. I commend this. We have seen the media play the role of opposition at very great risk during military regimes. I salute your courage. But I must say that I am sometimes worried by the type of stories that are published or broadcast in the Nigerian media. Some of these stories are sponsored essentially to bring a public officer to disrepute. Some of them are usually false and malicious with the clear intent of besmearing the image of the public officer.
I accept that the polity is dirty and requires cleansing. But I do not accept that every Nigerian politician is corrupt. There are still many Nigerians that believe in transparency, dignity, integrity and hardwork. Such Nigerians should be encouraged by being projected in their true character.
It is true that journalism thrives on criticism. But such criticism must and should be constructive, based on facts not on the imagination of the journalist or on the whims of the sponsors of such stories. I appreciate the contribution of the Nigerian journalist to national development. At all times, let us remember that this is the only country we can genuinely call our own. Therefore, all of us – the journalists, the politicians, the professionals and business people – must work together to achieve sustainable development within the limits of available resources.
This is the time to work as a family. A situation where the journalist sees the politician as an enemy does not augur well for the polity. Let’s work as partners.
I wholly agree with Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States that the media have a role to play in governance, in nation building and in character moulding.