By Gladys Nweke
Is cash-and-carry journalism helping to cause endless political tension in Rivers State? The advice of a Bayelsa veteran journalist now lawyer who practiced in Port Harcourt for years before their state was created seems to suggest so.
One of the pioneer journalists of the old Rivers State and Board member, Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund, Barr Fidelis Agbiki has urged journalists in Rivers State to be mindful of those Do-Or-Die politicians in the state who monetize media publicity to heighten political crisis.
The veteran journalist gave the warning following the spate of political violence in the state which he accused political actors of largely being the causative agents.
Barr Agbiki who had served as press secretary to many state governors wondered why this 21st-century era politicians in the state have placed their personal ambition above human lives and urged media practitioners to help salvage the situation.
It is unfortunate that politicians of today in Rivers State have forgotten that power belongs to God. It is worrisome, the way human lives now mean nothing to politicians who only what they want is to win election.
Journalists should not play into their hands. They like paying for media publicity that will heat up the polity to achieve their selfish political ambition. Media practitioners should be mindful of these political elements who do not mean well for the state.
Money is not everything. We want peace and journalists should always be the vanguard for peace and development,” he said.
The media veteran also warned the youths of the state not to allow themselves to be used by desperate politicians, adding that such politicians have nothing good to offer the state if elected.
He said, any politician who tells you to carry gun during election for them, tell such politicians to give their children the gun and not you.
It is time to show them that the state is no longer interested in those Do Or Die Affair politicians. Please, be wise to them and shun any suspicious dealings with them all in the name of election.
It will be recalled that Rivers State now appears to be the only state across the federation where governorship and house of assembly elections have not been concluded despite the fact that there is no subsisting court judgment stopping the state electoral process.
In a bid to conclude the state electoral process after its election was held on March 9, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a stakeholders’ meeting last week in Port Harcourt promised to conclude the state electoral process not later than April, 2019.
Recall also that Rivers State recorded the highest number of casualties before, during, and after the national and state elections which were held on February 23 and March 9 respectively this year.