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The Finger Pointing Proverb: Nigeria Info PH  Must Purge Itself of Partisanship 

By Simeon Nwakaudu

It is said that as you point  one finger at a person,  the remaining four fingers point at you. In other words,  if you must come to equity, then you must come with clean hands.

Today (Monday), a friend drew my attention to one of the  programmes of Nigerian Info where a duty continuity announcer took time to dress me down. The nature of job I do entails that I receive personal insults/attacks on a regular basis.

These attacks come from all corners.  But, one cannot shy away from the truth because we are scared of being insulted by duty continuity announcers.  We owe the society this responsibility to effect positive transformation.

In my earlier piece where I questioned the sincerity and professionalism of Nigeria Info Port Harcourt and her sister station, it wasn’t  done just for Governor Wike.  I simply used Governor Wike as a standard to measure the weak gate-keeping process of these Stations,  the anti-Rivers agenda of the ownership structure and the deliberate attempt to mislead Rivers people,  using the duty continuity announcers as the attack heads.

I have pointed  out clearly cases of deliberate anti-Rivers acts by the Lebanese owned stations.  These acts cannot be swept under the carpet by throwing stones at Simeon.  What does Nigeria Info Port Harcourt stand to gain by deliberately refusing to canvass for Federal Projects in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State if Nigeria Info continues to defend the Federal Government in its inability to promote security in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State,  if Nigeria Info continues to side with the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army even when their personnel were captured on National Television invading INEC Headquarters in an attempt to disrupt the Collation of Results and subvert the will of Rivers people?

What are the benefits to Rivers people when Nigeria Info consistently float phone-in programmes skewed in favour of their sponsors (the APC) with the same callers making similar unverifiable statements daily? The questions are endless.

To hold Government to account,  a station must be accountable.  What I am simply demanding is accountability.  If Nigeria Info demands good governance, nobody would raise eyebrow. But for them to become politicans, we are duty bound to question the rationality of their partisan mischief.

It is unhelpful to seek the attention of the National Broadcasting Commission because Nigeria Info is Pro-APC. Otherwise,  the content of Nigeria Info is below the guidelines and specifications of professional broadcasting. It is even below the standard of the Lebanese owned  station in Abuja and Lagos.

Imagine a duty continuity announcer on Nigeria  Info declaring that  local government councils are non-existent  in Rivers State. On what premise did he reach that conclusion? Did he conduct a survey and what was the methodology of the survey?  Such careless declaration on radio is reckless and unprofessional.

The real question that must be answered by the owners of Nigeria Info is: what are the mechanisms on ground to check the reckless partisanship of her duty continuity announcers? Both Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Port Harcourt seem to be stations where duty continuity announcers engage in free for all to please their paymasters.  There  is never any disciplinary process.  I think the absence of any form of disciplinary platform is deliberate.  It is aimed at ensuring  that the overriding anti-Rivers agenda is achieved. It is not coincidental that the duty continuity announcers detailed to drive the APC negative agenda in Nigeria Info are not under any form of supervision .

The Lebanese owners of Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM must as a matter of urgency and necessity spell out a code of conduct for their duty continuity announcers,  especially in Rivers State where the National Broadcasting Commission has allowed Pro-APC media outlets the free space to misinform,  mislead and generate anti-Rivers sentiments. As they say, power is nothing without control.

The Lebanese owners must also put in place an official public complaint system for its duty continuity announcers. Sanctions must be attached to cases where duty continuity announcers deliberately misinform the public.  Even on trucks, companies place phone numbers to check the excesses of truck drivers.

On Sunday,  Governor Wike called members of the Task Force on Street trading,  illegal markets and motor Parks for a meeting to appraise their operations.  He pointed out where they fell shot and urged them to step up or face actions.  However,  a duty continuity announcer embarked on blatant mischief.  It was as if he read the press statement of the APC.

In Port Harcourt,  Nigeria Info is duty bound to retrace its step. It must purse itself of sponsored partisanship.  There is no reason to grandstand.

Nigeria Info Port Harcourt should be truthful and reduce the dose of mischief and manipulation of information it feeds the populace. It should be advocates for Rivers State.  It should join  other well-meaning Rivers people to demand Federal projects from the APC Federal Government.  Since 2015, there  is nothing from the Nigerian Info official partner to Rivers people.  Yet these guys want to belittle the developmental strides of the pillar of development in Rivers State.

Accountability is a two-way traffic.  As the auditor audits a firm, he must not rape the finances of that firm. Information management is serious business.

It is said that a man breaking groundnuts for a blind man must continue to whistle. The whistleblowing is key to convince the blind that the groundnut breaker is transparent and is not involved in CHOPPING the groundnut.  For Nigeria Info Port Harcourt,  the time has come for transparency in its operations.  We can no longer keep quiet and assume that the pro-APC Broadcast is coincidental.  It is more painful because APC HAS FAILED THE PEOPLE OF RIVERS STATE.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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