Ikuforiji's Salvo Against Journalists in Nigeria
Ikuforiji's Salvo Against Journalists in Nigeria Website
Members of the fourth estate of the realm are often regarded as the cornerstone of democracy and champions of change in every progressive society. While some adore practitioners of the pen profession for their role in the society, others simply believe that journalists are mere rabble-rousers and hustlers, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria. Hence, when the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, on July 14, accused Nigerian journalists of being more corrupt than politicians, many interpreted the assertion as a tacit confirmation by the speaker that, indeed, politicians are corrupt. Ikuforiji said: "The Nigerian media is not always doing the right thing; they write what they want to write. They choose to spare the executive arm and concentrate on the legislature. They are not doing their job the way it ought to be done. Their own corruption is worse than (that of) any other person in the country. And it is not the fault of you (Assembly reporters) that are young in the profession, but your bosses that are in the office. Your own 'Ghana-Must-Go' is the worst; you and your bosses in the office must change for the good." Ikuforiji's statement has, expectedly, drawn the ire of many, who who say that the lawmaker should substantiate what is viewed as his unguarded utterance. There are also those who claim that the speaker's statement might have been an act of vendetta against some journalists who may have refused to dance to his tune. They insist that his personal experience is not enough ground to reach a sweeping conclusion on an issue such as corruption. Yet, Fred Agbaje, a Lagos-based activist lawyer, takes a different viewpoint. He is of the belief that politicians and not the journalists are to blame because "they pollute the media and the entire society in a bid to achieve their political aims. "If he said so, then he is one of those people who have corrupted journalists. Otherwise how would he know that journalists are more corrupt than politicians? Is it not politicians that are using the journalists to fan their political embers? Is it not the politicians that are using the journalists to corrupt the society?" Agbaje asked. Ikuforiji, who was born in 1958 in Epe, Lagos State, studied on scholarship for his first and second degrees in Romania. He was first elected a member of Lagos State House of Assembly in 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and re-elected in 2007, making him the first person to be so re-elected in Epe division. He was subsequently elected speaker of the state legislature in what was said to be a unanimous decision by the House members.
Source: Daily Independent