Nigeria media & misinformation: A case of Okonjo-Iweala

Just yesterday the Nigeria media space was agog with stories about the election of Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonji Iweala as DG WTO when the facts on the ground is contrary, that the election of the head of that body has not yet been held, but comes up on the 9th of November 2020.

Shamelessly, instead of admitting that the media goofed, some persons have been justifying it on the basis of her getting the top position based on the majority nomination she has received from member delegates which is not the same thing as the election.

My question this morning for people who try to rationalize everything under the sun no matter how illogical it sounds, however, one must admit that having gotten the highest nomination is like a sure bet to clinching the job, but the indisputable fact is that one cannot get the jtop ob without the proper election taking place, nomination is not the licence to get the job, but rather it can only happen through election. Thus my question is that, is nomination and election the same? Absolutely not.

Now, some media personalities instead of admitting their fake and misleading news, wants to put the blame on America, claiming that she is attempting to use her veto power against candidate NOI, please if she had been elected, would there be anything like veto power being used against the candidacy? Absolutely not.

The same scenario applies to the recent renomination of Prof Yakubu as the chairman of INEC for a 2nd term subject to the confirmation of the senate to which the President has sent in his nomination, rather unfortunately, instead of reporting correctly that President Buhari has renominated Prof. Yakubu Mahmud for a second term, some and if not all of them have taken speculative journalism to a new level even for stories that don’t warrant it, by reporting that President Buhari reappoints Prof Yakubu for a second term which is untrue and misleading.

If the President nominates, if the senate does not confirm, the nominee cannot assume the office, that’s what the constitution stipulates, but unfortunately our media reports news inaccurately and falsely, hence they misinform and confuse the reading and listening public which is a shame.

There was a time in this country, that to know about constitutional provisions on national issues, the media was the first point of research without even reading up the constitution itself, but not anymore, that is history.

The recurring fake news and misinformation by the media that is supposed to inform and educate has been lost to junk journalism which is a threat to peaceful coexistence and national security, but it’s still not too late in the day to beat a retreat and do the needful by those who truly care about the integrity of the media which is fast being eroded.

And the time to do that is now.

Nelson Ekujumi

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