By Ukpono Ukpong, Abuja
Nigerian journalist have been advised to stop patronising their quest during interview sessions as the progress of the country depends on how much they can dig for the truth.
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), made the call yesterday in Abuja during a book launch titled: ‘The Big Interviews; How to get the news subjects and angles that make the headlines’, authored by a renowned journalist and pioneer Editor of The Sun Newspaper, Eric Osagie.
Nyesom Wike stressed the need for Journalists to be unbiased in their reportage while asking relevant questions that will bring about answers as well as unravel the truth the society hopes to benefit from.
“Journalists shouldn’t be looking at faces, when you go to interview people, ask the relevant questions that will benefit the society. Sometimes some journalist will come and say, we just want to make sure that the public know about you.
“We want to see how we will package you. Please don’t package anybody, your business is not to package anybody but to feed the society with simple truth.”
While describing the author of the book, Eric Osagie as someone who is very principled, he further said “Eric is a dependable person. When once he is with you, you can go home and sleep with two eyes closed.”
Speaking further, he came hard on the ruling APC leaders urging them to practice what they preach.
“It’s good for our leaders to practice what they preach. I can remember during Adam Oshiomhole’s second tenure, he came to the Presidential Villa to thank the then President Goodluck Jonathan for ‘One man one vote’, today can we say that we have one man one vote?
“In their own time, they had what they called ‘Occupy Nigeria’ and nobody was sent to jail nor arrested and detained but today are they practicing what they are preaching? We cannot be deceived by rhetoric, Nigeria is not progressing but retrogressing.” Said Wike
Similar, the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomohle, who said that he has been privileged to work with the author, said he is one that fights for what ever he believes in.
Speaking further, he also encouraged Nigerian journalists to be fearless and courageous while discharging their duties especially during interview sessions and not to see government officials as demi-god.
“When I see interviewers abroad, I see fearlessness, courage and I don’t hear any interviewer address President Trump as Your Excellency, not because Trump is not particularly excellent. They simply address him as President Trump, but in Nigeria, Journalist will make you feel that you are super human.
“They will only ask questions that to me, are quite patronising and they will be in a hurry to go home with so much half-truth without trying to interrogate even the obvious lies.”
On his part, the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus while expressing optimism that the book ‘The Big Interviews’ will not only be of benefit to the people here, but for the generality of people in Nigeria and Africa said “We need more of these interviews, and we need a vibrant journalism in our country. It’s not enough to accuse, it’s not enough to make propaganda. Truth is very tough and challenging and if you begin to cover the truth, one day it will explode.
“Journalists and media houses should be honest to our country, so that our future generation should have the benefit to learn and to improve their environment.”
He however condemned what he described as Anti-freedom Bills being sponsored in the National Assembly saying “Even in the military era, journalist were vibrant and they fought for their right. It was tough even for the military then but now you can see Anti-freedom Bills being submitted to the National Assembly. One lesson we must learn today is that, we are in a free world, free market.”