The All Progressives Congress (APC) Professionals Forum, has solicited the support of the media for fair reportage of the 2023 electioneering processes and the inclusion of more professionals in governance.
Mr Akeem Akintayo, National Coordinator of the forum, said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja that, the forum made the call during an advocacy visit to the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The statement said the delegation was led by the forum’s acting Board of Trustees (BOT), Chairman, Dr Nkem Okeke.
It said Okeke told the NUJ President, Mr Chris Isiguzo that the media needed to be fair to all in the run up to the 2023 general elections.
“We believe that the media have major roles to play at this time of electioneering, especially now that most of the candidates of the political parties are known.
“As a registered professional group in APC, we are not asking the media to skew their reports in favour of our party.
“All we are demanding is responsible and fair treatment of issues concerning the party,” the statement quoted Okeke as saying.
He added that judging by what President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had achieved since assuming office seven years ago, there was no doubt that there were several positives.
Okeke said the media, as the fourth estate of the realm, should be projecting such positive achievements.
Okeke added that it was uncharitable for a section of the media to present the APC as doing virtually nothing, ”when it was obvious that there had been a lot of positive changes since 2015.
“What we have seen is capable of calling to question the professionalism that Nigerian journalists are known for.
“So, we are here on this advocacy visit to the NUJ leadership to demand for fairness in the period leading to 2023 general elections.”
Responding, Isiguzo, said that he had always favoured developmental journalism and would never subscribe to unfair treatment of any political party in the media space.
He assured fair treatment for all political parties in the run up to the coming elections, adding that the Nigerian media would not relent in displaying professionalism in their duties.
“But, let me add here that there are people out there masquerading as journalists and these are the ones responsible for the trend of fake news,”he said.
He said such persons were also responsible for irresponsible reportage of events that the media usually got blamed for.
“There is no doubt that the ruling party has done well, but if there are areas that need more attention, the media would focus attention on them until something is done.
“But, be sure that we have a duty to be fair to all and we will continue to do that,” the NUJ national president said.
Isiguzo said health practitioners and lawyers almost always got appointments as Health Ministers and Attorneys-General of the Federation.
The NUJ National President, therefore, spoke of the need for more professionals to be in government.
Isiguzo added, ”it would not be out of place to appoint journalists as information ministers.”
He, however, promised to support the APC Professionals Forum in any of its activities targeted at encouraging participation of more professionals in politics and governance.