2019: Ensure Votes Count, Wike Tasks Broadcasters


Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on broadcasters to work to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in 2019.
“You have a responsibility. You have a role to play. If you don’t play that role, history will not forgive you. You owe this country truthful reportage of the emerging political events”, he said.
The governor also announced the immediate sack of the General Managers of Rivers State Television, Garden City FM and Radio Rivers for failing to participate in the activities of the Broadcasting Organisation Nigeria (BON).
“I hereby sack the General Managers of the three state-owned Radio Stations. BON will be here in Rivers State for their AGM and the General Managers of the three state-owned are not here, when those from other states are here. People must learn to take their jobs seriously “, he said.
He spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt last Monday during a courtesy visit by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
“BON must work towards telling the world that things are not working in the country. This federal government has failed”, he said.
He said that BON must strive to hold the Federal Government to account on issues of credible elections.
The governor said: “Why are you not broadcasting on key issues that negatively affect the people ? Why are you not telling the people the truth? BON should play their critical role as we head into 2019”.
The governor declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the fifth amended Electoral Act because they want to rig the 2019 General election.
“ You must work to ensure that the votes of the people count in 2019. For us in Rivers State, nobody can rig us out. We are prepared to ensure that the votes of our people count. There is only one party in this state and that is the PDP”, he said.
He noted that INEC as an institution has become irresponsible, working against the processes for credible polls.
Governor Wike said that the build up towards 2019 does not indicate that there will be credible elections.
Earlier, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh thanked the Rivers State Government for hosting the organisation.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government says Rivers State is a media friendly environment.
The State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike made this assertion while speaking at the 71stGeneral Assembly of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018.
Represented by His Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike said ”out of over 250 radio and television stations in Nigeria under your organization; over 25 of these stations are located in Rivers State”, noting that the State has provided the needed investors’ friendly environment for them to operate.
He said the State Government also embarked on a number of projects that positively impacted on the lives of people resident in the State which includes good road networks, bridges, jetties, schools, hospitals, markets amidst adequate security.
Governor Wike however regretted that some media houses do not present the true positions of events in Rivers State.
“They collaborate with the opposition to paint and present Rivers State in bad light before the national and international communities. This is unbecoming of the media profession and grossly unfair and we call on BON to do the needful to bring such erring members to sanity”. Governor Wike stressed.
The Governor reminded BON that it has a great role to play in the upcoming 2019 General Elections, stressing that Prompt and accurate reportage of events would go a long way in curbing incidences of election rigging in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed who spoke through the Director of PR/Protocol in his Ministry, Sunday Baba expressed delight that the meeting came at the commencement of the 2019 electioneering campaigns, noting that under the guise of freedom of speech and information some people had disparaged individuals and institutions with fake news which according to him is counterproductive.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, John Momoh said it was a wakeup call for broadcasters to re-examine their roles and discern for themselves the next step forward in the complex space of the art of today’s broadcasting, noting that the General Assembly offers broadcasters another opportunity to do this which according to him is justified by the theme”Changing Media Landscape.”