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Aregbesola warns Media Practitioners against being used as political tools 

By Nofisat Marindoti, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo
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Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola has warned Media practitioners in Nigeria against being used as handy tools to be used and dumped for political purpose.

He urged journalists to rather protect the sanctity of justice, fairness and peace through their reports and behaviour in the society.

Aregbesola stated this yesterday while declaring open the 2017 week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun Council with a theme, ‘the role of the media in fostering peace and development’ at the NUJ Press Centre, Osogbo.

The governor who was represented by Commissioner designate, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said, journalists must preach tolerance and cohabitation for sustainable peace and development.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Philippine, Professor Yemi Farounbi also charged journalists to educate members of the public on governance and system of government, urging them to be constructive in criticising the government.

Farounbi who made case for restructuring of Nigeria said an un-restructured Nigeria would remain underdeveloped, explaining that the concept of restructuring is to bring authority closer to the people.

According to Aregbesola, “Journalists are the watchdog of the society. As the eye, ear and nose of the society, journalists and members of the media are the cynosure of all eyes. What you do, act out and demonstrate goes far to set standards of desirable conduct for the society.

“Primarily, journalists function to inform the populace on events, happenings, trends and developments. It therefore behoves on journalists to shun bias, subjectivity and sentiments in the discharge of their duty.

“It is incumbent upon journalists to preserve, upgrade and develop the mentality and mindset of their readership and audience by furnishing the populace with high quality information that educate, enlighten, refresh and chart the course for a brighter future.

“Journalists should avoid being deployed as handy tools to be used and dumped for political purpose. Any piece of distorted facts disseminated to the public through any sector of the media constitutes disservice to the people, society, humanity and God.

“Just like prophets assigned on divine missions for which they remain accountable, journalists are accountable to the present and the next generation and to God over how well or otherwise they handle their beats and mandates.

“More than what we write, report or say as journalists, what we do has overriding importance as people watch and are red-alert to observe the best of conduct from us at all times.”