Nigeria: Yar'Adua Tasks Media On Balanced Reporting

Regulation & Policy

President Umaru Yar'Adua on Wednesday in Abuja urged the mass media to take a more balanced view of political developments in the country. The President gave the charge at the 'Tell' Magazine International Conference on 10 years of Democracy in Nigeria. Yar'Adua, who was represented by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, said the media has a key role to play in sustaining Nigeria's democracy.

"I am fully aware that the sympathy for the underdog can and does colour perspectives in the media, as elsewhere. But, I counsel you to watch out, the underdog is not always the good guy," he said. Yar'Adua gave the instance where INEC at the national level was demonised through the mass media. Most of the 36 states have conducted local government elections and these elections were controlled by the governors in those states and not by INEC.

"My observation is that if it is a PDP state, from the least councilor to the chairman, the seats will be won by PDP, if it is AC or ANPP state the same thing happens."The attack on this kind of system in the states compared to the bashing received by INEC in the mass media is nothing to write home about. If we cannot correct the rot at the ward and local government levels, it will be cumbersome to think that it can be corrected at the top," he said.