Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Enugu
The South East geopolitical zone has been deliberately shortchanged, suffocated and schemed out of relevance in the country.
The former Political Editor of Daily Times, Mr. Emeka Nwosu, stated this yesterday in a paper entitled, “Issues In Media Ownership in South East of Nigeria and the Quest for A Balanced Federation”, at a colloquium held in honour of Nze Magus Eze head of South East Bureau, The Sun, to mark his 50th birthday, in Enugu.
According to Nwosu, the South East is the only region out of six geopolitical zones of the country that has five states, adding that while Northwest has seven, others have six each.
Nwosu noted also that the South East has the least number of local government areas and federal constituencies, which he said were the units for political representation and revenue sharing in the federation.
“In the Igbo quest for a balanced federation, in which all the regions or zones will be equal stakeholders, there is a compelling need for the Igbo to invest in the media,” he observed. “For such investment to succeed, it must be considered as a social service, especially at the pioneering stages. Profit motive is normal, but the primary consideration should be the power and influence, which the ownership of the media brings to the table.
“Ndigbo needs a well-funded and robust media in order to rise to the challenge. The media is another form of power through which we can protect our rich cultural heritage and values, customs, traditions and religion. It serves as a bulwark against unwanted foreign influences and some hegemonic interests that seek to impose their strange ways of life on our people.”
He added that “in the ongoing national clamour for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to ensure equity and balance, the media has a crucial role to play in terms of agenda-setting and public advocacy,” Nwosu stated.