EFCC Should Investigate Aspirants, Businesses Over N100m Nomination Form — Pat Utomi
A renowned economists, Prof Pat Utomi, yesterday challenged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to beam its search light on all politicians that paid N100million to purchase nomination forms, probe the types of businesses they do and amount of taxes paid to government.
Utomi threw the challenge while speaking at the 56th World Communications Day, held at Ss. Peter &Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi, Adatan Road, Abeokuta with the theme: “Journalism of Empathy in a Troubled Nation”.
The political economist blamed all challenges facing Nigeria as a nation on leadership failure.
He said, “We have a nation whose leaders are deaf. Some Nigerians cannot afford one decent meal daily and our leaders ‘play games with N100 million for nomination forms.
“Nigeria, today is in trouble because the culture of dignity and integrity has collapsed. We celebrate money. If care is not taken, very soon, Nigeria would be ruled by criminals and rogues.”
He, therefore, said Nigerian media should rise up to their responsibilities to salvage the country and our culture from collapse saying “We should pay enough attention to happenings in the society.”
On his part, the Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Media Limited and Provost, Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, charged journalists to be professional in discharging their duties.
He called on the Catholic Church to do more in sensitising the public on their duties, responsibilities to nation building.
While positing that journalists are handicapped with different government policies militating against free journalism, Adefaye charged media professionals to discharge their duties, guided with social responsibility.
The Chairman of the occasion and Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Waheed Odusile cautioned journalists against giving false news that can ignite chaos, and unrest in the country.
He urged them to always verify the authenticity of news before publication, saying that there are always a consequence for any wrong information release to the society either deliberately or innocently.
Earlier, the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Rev. Peter Odetoyinbo, called on Nigerian journalists to be bearers of good news that will promote peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness among Nigerians.
Odetoyinbo, who made the call, during his homily, said journalists must put the interest of the nation first while discharging their duties.
He lamented the wrong use of different platforms of communication by Nigerians for spreading falsehood, lies, fake news, and pseudo-truth on various issues, stressing that this has caused more harm and disunity to the peaceful co-existence in the country.
He said, “Indeed, we live in an age of fake news’, a sad reality caused by our inability to be truly concerned about helping, our inability to be patient enough to listen and know the truth of a story.
“The events of our country in recent times, evident in the incessant and heartless killing of innocent souls, kidnapping, maiming, religious and political tussle, and many more, call us to reevaluate our sense of listening. We have indeed been deaf to one another.
“We have sacrificed love and concern for one another on the altar of selfishness. We have closed our ears from hearing the truth of our existence, covered our eyes from seeing the plight of those we are called to help, and sealed our mouth from speaking against the evils of our land. All of these are due to the sad truth that we have stopped listening with the ears of our heart.
“We have killed our ability to be patient and that has resulted in our inability to listen. We have made ourselves incapable of responding to one of the greatest needs of humans: “the boundless desire to be heard”. All of us want to be heard; we all want to pour the burden we carry in our hearts; we want to seek true direction; we want to ask so many existential questions; we just want someone to listen to us.”
Odetoyinbo said, “It takes one who is patient, reflective, compassionate, and truly interested in the good of others, to give complete listening ear to others.
“Every time we listen with the ear of the heart, we create avenues and opportunities, where there is continuous promotion of justice, compassion, fruitfulness, growth, peace-building, religious tolerance, and many other virtues that support our co-existence.
“Nowadays, people want to be the first to spread rumours, sad stories, half-truths, fake news, and all, just to attain some selfish desires. We no longer have the patience to listen to one another.
We do not even want to listen to God who invites us into a loving relationship with him.”