Delta Central 2019: Amori, the delegates and the media role


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It is necessary to correct the impression that the media is the Fourth Estate of the Realm after the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial arms of modern governments, though that may be acceptable in the separation of political powers equation.
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The idea of the media as the fourth estate came from English political theorist, Edmund Burke, who suggested in a House of Commons debate in 1787 that the media is the Fourth Estate of the Realm after the lords spiritual, or the clergy; the lords temporal, the Crown and the noblemen; and the Commons, or the plebian.
The Crown was the sole authority in England, before the noblemen wrested some powers off it, with the pretext of protecting the interest of the commons. The works of Charles Dickens, “The Great Expectations,” and “Oliver Twist,” show how the gluttonous elite took advantage of the commons.
The media undertook to be the voice and advocate-in-the-behalf of the commons against the excesses of the lords spiritual and the lords temporal, and thus became the fourth estate of the English political realm.
Tom Burns states: “The (House of) Commons had begun life as the spokesman… of public opinion. The primary purpose of including representatives of the bourgeois and of the propertied countrymen… in the Model Parliament of 1295… was ‘to inform the Crown about local conditions and help to influence public opinions.’ They discharged these functions… as bearers, intermediaries, or discussants of the large number of petitions for relief or remedy presented to the King in Parliament.”
Burns adds: “The political role of the press evolved… during the eighteenth century largely because the practice of Parliament, and the relationship of the Parliament to the Commons, departed so grossly from the constitutional principles on which the authority and powers of Parliament were claimed to rest.”
Burns concludes: “The press alone rivaled the House of Commons, in that it was the only organ of public opinion capable of dictating to the Government, since nothing else could speak the sense of the people.”
Chroniclers of Nigeria’s media history may have observed that the Nigerian media came before the Nigerian parliament. In 1859, Anglican missionary, Henry Townsend, published “Iwe Irohin fun Awon Ara Egba Ati Yoruba,” the newspaper for the Egba and the Yoruba, in Abeokuta.
Some scholars argue that there was an earlier newspaper publication in Calabar. “The Anglo African,” first published by Jamaican Robert Campbell in 1863, followed. Then came Richard Olamilege Beale Blaize’s, “The Lagos Times and Gold Coast Advertiser” in 1880.
Nigeria’s first “pretend” parliament came with the 1922 Clifford’s Constitution with a legislative council of 27 official, and 19 unofficial, members. Electoral franchise was limited to Lagos and Calabar, and Northern Nigeria was not represented in this parliament-until the 1946 Richards Constitution corrected the omission.
It is almost a given that Nigerians with political ambition must own a media house, have worked in the media, or have friends, or sympathisers in the media. Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola, Segun Osoba, and former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida, respectively represent these groups of politicians.
The need by politicians to have a media platform or media friends may explain the plethora of ephemeral community newspapers that flame out soon after their proprietors either got elected into political offices, or lost interest in politics and media friends would be completely send into oblivion.
Yet, the role of the media in post-colonial Nigeria, especially under the iron-fisted and draconian military regimes, has been heroic, if not suicidal. Nigerian media professionals have lost lives, limbs, livelihoods, and liberty.
Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution provides that “The press, radio, television, and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in (Chapter II of this Constitution), and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”
Section 39(1) provides that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinion, and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.” Section 39(2) provides that “Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish, and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas, and opinions.”
By the way, media includes books. After Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, “The Jungle,” reported how rotten and poisoned meat ended in food stores, American President Theodore Roosevelt initiated the Pure Food and Drug Act, that forbade sale of adulterated and mislabeled food, and the Meat and Inspections Act that introduced the inspection and grading of meat.
The Nigerian Constitution grants to every citizen, and not only the media or media professionals, the right to freedom of expression, with the responsibility to hold the government accountable to the people.
Ownership of a media house is the ultimate platform that a polity can grant a citizen to exercise freedom of expression. Many however express doubts, or indignation, that the Nigerian media is not living up to its billings.
For me to do justice to this piece, the media has a vital role to play by way of educating delegates on the way to go, haven x-raying the aspirants jostling for the position of the senator to represent Delta Central at the Red Chambers of the National Assembly, Chief Ighoyota Conference Amori remain the most qualified among the visible aspirants.
I know some of my fans must have being wondering I could have been advocating for Amori and Igbakpa at the same time. Compatriots I have gave reasons for the dual to occupy the seat hitherto.
Then on whether Amori can be Senator and Ben Igbakpa can be in House of Representatives at this time? Sure, during one of my course in the tertiary institution, being a mass communication student, we were told that educating the uneducated is one of the functions of a journalist and of course that is what I have told myself to do. Both of them are eminently qualified to man the positions.
Many a times, Amori has been arrested in media, tried in the media and even jailed in the media, there is no name under the sun he was not called, being sponsored by his opponents for reasons I could not really figure out.
Being a media person and friend, it was done on me that there is urgent need to come on rescue mission to redeem the hard earned reputation of the Urhobo illustrious son and at the same guide delegates to elect this Urhobo proud son to represent the Urhobo nationality at the Red Chambers.
By way examination of the aspirants jostling for the position, Amori remained the most dedicated and loyal to the party, just as he take Urhobo plights above personal interest.
In politics, experience also counts and Amori was termed to be the most experience among others in the race, he brought almost all his opponents up politically, being a founding member of PDP.
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The Red Chambers does not need political babies; the senate is for matured and experience politicians who can galvanize national politics in favour of his people. That Amori was able to do in his few months in the House before he was robbed through judicial somersault.
As delegates in this election, any action taken may make or mar the future of Urhobo in the years to come; the destiny of Urhobo is your hand and you will be before the box to determine the destiny of this senatorial district and that of our people.
Delegates must as a matter of necessity send Amori to Abuja to do his miracles he know how to do best, he did it as commissioner of education in Delta State and his landmarks were “Ungbikuable”
With Amori at the Senate, I can assure you of Urhobo house in the nation capital city, Federal presents would be abound in the district and marginalization of Urhobo nation would be thrown overboard.
But how can the above come to manifestation? It’s through your votes in the primary election and yours sincerely in the general election. But it begins with you at the primaries.
Urhobo house is possible when you send Amori to Abuja.
It’s possible, yes it is.
Kparobo Ehvwubare is a journalist, online publisher wrote from Oghara-Delta State. Could be reached on marksbare@gmail.com or 07067546856.


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