From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Senator Joel Ikenya on Wednesday called on the National Assembly to stop efforts to further gag the media as he said the media in the country is already well regulated.
Ikyenya, who represented Southern Taraba senatorial district at the seventh National Assembly and former minister during President Goodluck Jonathan, also faulted certain aspects of the Electoral Act amendment as well as the PIB Act.
He noted that he would rather adopt the position of the House of Representatives on the PIB Act the gives 5% to host communities as against the Senate that gives 3%. He, however, said that since the oil-producing states already enjoy 13% derivation funds and have the Ministry of Niger Delta as well as the Niger Delta Development Commission, the agitation of the people of the area for 15% to host communities should rather be channelled towards ensuring that all the derived funds are prudently utilised to bring development to the area.
Mr Ikenya who is a multi-time governorship candidate in Taraba State said that electronic transmission of results would have eased the work for INEC and added credibility to the system, but the inherent network issues in the country have given reasons for one to accept its removal without too much grudge.
‘I think they should just allow the media landscape as it is. The media in Nigeria is already well regulated and should not be gagged even more. That is not correct. My only concern is social media where people just churn out information they know to be false just to create tension. Yes, I agree completely that social media needs to be regulated to the extent that people who post false information should be held accountable for their actions because some of this information can trigger war and bloodshed. Otherwise, I think the Nigerian media has been responsible enough to be allowed to be,’ he said.