Opinion: Asue Ighodalo, Edo Elections and the Media

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Asue Ighodalo
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Responsible media is a key ingredient for healthy democracy.T his statement is a truism that cannot be refuted by any logical mind.

The media plays a very vital role in not only disseminating information but also guiding thought processes and providing decision-making inputs as we drive towards the very incisive element in the democratic process of making choices while still helping to maintain a healthy engagement within the process.

We are expected to choose our candidates based on our clinical assesments of his capacity, his programmes amongst other such variables and it is the media that provides the vehicle with which the very important ingredient – information is delivered to the electorate.

So you can imagine my deep worry when certain elements of the media ran with the obviously wrong interpretation of the recent judgement of a Federal High Court on the 378 delegates in the February 22 PDP primary elections in Edo State.

The headlines were bold and daring. They screamed in their vacousness the alleged disqualification of Mr Ighodalo who was and is still the bona fide candidate of the PDP in Edo State.

With the way the media has evolved in the last 20years, standards have really dropped leading to irresponsible reporting driven in some cases by citizen journalism.

Today, everybody with N100 data is reporting, analysing and disseminating News usually with dire consequences as a result of the inpurity that is being pushed out.

But sadly, what was really alarming in this particular case, was the involvement of what I would want to call responsible media outlets in this fraud

A TV station who prides itself as a 16 time award winning station despite their open Channels also joined in this charade.

It led its reporting of the issue with the banal – Asue Ighodalo is disqualified dirge.

This was quite disappointing and disgraceful to say the least cos the CTC of the ruling is there for all to see.

The CTC did not in any way allude to the disqualification of Mr Ighodalo who I must say is the front runner in the campaigns but instead stated very clearly that the delegates were lawfully elected and as such must participate as Ad Hoc ward delegates emphasizing asherence to the PDP constitution and the electoral act of 2022.

How this translates to his disqualification even in my unlettered eye continues to beat my imagination.

This deliberate attempt at falsifying an obviously well researched judgement by certain sections of the media could if not well engaged go a long way to reorder the inevitable flow of  support towards Mr Ighodalo’s candidacy

But luckily, the campaign has come out with a strongly worded statement which has particularly and forcefully re affirmed his candidacy while also taking its time to put the judgement in its proper context.

Furthermore, in my discussions with top members of the campaign, it was very clear that the leadership of the campaign is not loosing sleep over this but instead has remained very focused in pursuing its assured agenda of winning the elections.

For me as a concerned observer, my prayer remains that the media would remain responsible to its ethics and push very professionally the very strong ethos of balance and accurate reporting as we head towards the very critical parts of this journey.

This prayer I dare say is for both mainstream media outlets and the myriad of citizen driven media outlets nestled very comfortably within the ambits of a very wild and oft ireoressible Social Media enclave.

Thanks
Duke of Shomolu

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