MBJF President, Jonathan Ipaa
The Middle-belt Forum (MBF) has urged journalists to always expose bad leadership and speak the truth to power so as to make the society a better place and engender overall national development.
The MBF Chairman, Dr Bitrus Pogu, gave the charge in Abuja on Sunday when he received the newly inaugurated executive council members of the Middle-Belt Journalists Forum (MBJF).
Pogu said that he was delighted and honoured by the newsmen’ visit, adding that “as a political leader, the media are his partners in progress”.
He stressed that partnership with the media was mandatory and was not an option.
He noted that the media must play their constitutional role as the watchdogs of the society by informing and educating the public about not only the positive side of government activities but also about anything that is capable of undermining the developing of the country.
“The masses often bear the brunt of the negative consequences of bad leadership, and more often than not, the people fall victims of bad governance which culminates in political and economic marginalization or oppression.
“As seasoned journalists, you must tell truth to power, for it is only when societal problems are made public, no matter whose ox is gored, that solutions can be found,” he said.
Pogu said that the major task of the MBF was to advance the interests of his people through sensitisation and engagements across religious, ethnic and geopolitical divides in which the media can play a prominent role.
“We respect the media, you are indeed our partners in progress, and as the fourth estate of the realm, no society can function without you since no society or government can operate in a vacuum,” he added.
Earlier, MBJF President, Jonathan Ipaa, assured their host that his team was prepared to speak truth to power, step on some toes, put political leaders to task and place before them a partnership deal with the masses whom they serve.
“Yes, this is the way to start it, we will assist you in generating ideas, creating awareness, setting agenda for good governance, project the ideals of political vision and struggle so as to protect the oppressed and marginalised masses.
“We are stronger together. If we want to go far, we must walk together, though slower. If we walk alone, we will walk fast but will not go far. I am sure we want to go far.
“Our aims and objectives can only be achieved through a holistic approach.
“We believe, for instance, that the issue of peaceful coexistence among the middle-belt people is a challenge that we can arrange workshops, conferences and consultation amongst stakeholders with a view to resolving them,” Ipaa added.
The MBJF President explained that his executive council had come up with new ideas, innovations and objectives and was seeking new partnerships and friends and keeping old ones, like the Solomon Lar Foundation, the MBF, and other stakeholders.
The meeting was attended by Pogu’s Chief of Staff, Mr Simon Reef, MBJF National Vice President, Mark Longyen, Secretary, Oikeke Igado Kure; Treasurer, Josephine Fhain; Financial Secretary, Elijah Vanger; Auditor, Mark Mayah. (NAN)