Magnus Eze, Enugu
Renowned entrepreneur and Chairman of Dome Entertainment Limited, Dr.Obiora Okonkwo, has advised the media not to equate ‘regime interest’ to national interest.
He also urgedPresident Muhammadu Buhari and the newly inaugurated ninth National Assembly to as a matter of urgency restore national integration in order to realise the full potential of its large citizenry.
He stated that people preferred their matters discussed in the media than in law courts because they have confidence in their issues being resolved in the court of public opinion.
Speaking in Enugu, at the weekend, during the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) colloquium on the media and national integration, Okonkwo noted that in the face of the nation’s enormous challenge with national integration, efforts must start with the recognition that despite the country’s many differences, Nigerians have no other country they could call theirs and must, therefore, do everything they could to live together.
He, therefore, submitted that it behooves on the media to strive to promote those things that unite the nation while constructively addressing the more divisive issues.
“In playing this watchdog role, the media must make a distinction between regime interest and national interest and between regime security and national security.
“The tendency is for people in government to conflate both. But what is in the regime’s interest may not necessarily be in the national interest.
“Same applies to regime security.It is never the case that those in government have a monopoly of patriotism,” Okonkwo stated.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Senator Anyim Ude charged journalists to make integrity and honesty their watchword in the discharge of their duties.
Ude, a veteran journalist, urged media owners to improve on the welfare of their workers, including paying the monthly salaries religiously.
He also noted that courageous journalists would always stand out and be celebrated.