Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, has charged the Nigerian media not to abandon its pivotal responsibility in the sustenance of the country’s democracy by holding leaders accountable.
Governor Dickson gave the charge, on Wednesday, when the management of The Sun Newspapers Limited led by the Editor-in-Chief/Managing Director, Mr. Eric Osagie, visited him, in Abuja, to present his nomination letter as the Outstanding Politician of the Year 2018.
Governor Dickson’s Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the country was going through very trying times and that the Fourth Estate of the Realm must be ready to play its key role to ensure the survival of our democracy.
“In any society where the media is not critical or silent and only write what the government wants, then that society cannot be said to be a democracy,” he said.
Governor Dickson also noted that politics should be a vehicle for service, impact and development rather than an opportunity to use state power to destroy or oppress others.
“Politics should be service to one’s society. It is about building not destroying. It is not about using state power to oppress and destroy others.
“These are the things that have informed our brand of service.
“Political service is a vehicle for impact, service and development. That is why we have not exploited our privileges to hurt anybody.
“There is no need for those who wield political power and authority to oppress anybody. Disagreements are normal.
“We ought to even disagree more in this country because there are fundamental issues to talk about.
“Those who cannot tolerate anybody have no business in public service.”
On behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State, the governor expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to the board and management of The Sun newspaper for his nomination, saying it is an encouragement to do more in service of his people and the nation.
He described the newspaper as one medium for independent analysis.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Eric Osagie, said the newspaper’s Board of Editors picked Governor Dickson in recognition of his remarkable strides in the polity as a bridge builder and mobiliser in Bayelsa, the Peoples Democratic Party and across Nigeria.
“Over the years, His Excellency has demonstrated uncommon traits as a natural leader, particularly in public service. At every turn, you provide profound leadership and uncommon courage as you work towards definite goals,” Osagie said.
He noted in particular that the governor has taken it upon himself to be an apostle of restructuring, travelling round to explain to other component parts of the country the need for Nigeria to restructure.
Osagie disclosed that the award would be conferred on Governor Dickson at a ceremony slated for January 19, 2019 in Lagos.
The MD was accompanied on the visit by the Daily Sun Editor, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, his Saturday Sun counterpart, Mr. Femi Babafemi, and the Abuja Bureau Chief, Mr. Ihenacho Nwosu.