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Buhari’s dispensation promoted “freedom of press” – Bishop

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A clergyman, Most-Rev. Ikechi Nwosu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has promoted freedom of press in Nigeria.

Nwosu, the Archbishop of Aba Province, Anglican Communion and Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, said this on Friday in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia.

According to him, aside from the traditional media, Nigerians extensively used the social media to express their views on topical national issues without let or hinderance.

He, however, expressed doubt whether the varied opinions freely canvassed by the people through the mass media, concerning the affairs of the nation, were being put to use by the government.

The cleric, who spoke through Ven. Alex Ihemekwela, the chaplain of the Federal Medical Centre Chaplaincy, regretted the development where those in government preferred to listen to the opinion of their appointees than the people.

“Government and political office holders should listen to those they govern in order to govern well,” he said.

Nwosu charged the nation’s leaders at all levels of government to put the interest of the people above “their selfish and clanish interest” and work for the wellbeing of the entire citizenry.

He further urged the political class to “change their orientation in 2018”.

“Our leaders should listen to the needs and aspirations of the people they govern.”

He said that very often, political aides advocated policies and measures with selfish motives to the detriment of national interest.

The cleric admonished governments at all levels to strive to be transparent and shun corruption and nepotism, to move the nation forward.

He appraised the president’s anti corruption fight and opined that it had not yeilded the expected impact.

He said that the approach should be changed to make it all-inclusive.

“Government must be alive to its responsibilities to the citizenry. It must strive to implement its campaign promises and party manifesto.

“Government must lead by example and make transparency its watchword. Bribery and corruption must be severely dealt with for Nigeria to move forward.”

He warned against the use of the mass media by government to deceive unsuspecting members of the public through false claims about projects implementation.

The clergyman said only an irresponsible government could claim to have built roads and skyscrapers, whereas it did little or nothing.

He asked, “How can you claim in the media that you built so so roads yet people, who live in the area, know that it is not true?

“How can you claim to have paid pensions as well as salaries of workers and teachers, when you know it is not true?

“You can only use the media to deceive those living outside and not the people at home,” Nwosu said.

He tasked the nation’s leaders to promote justice, equity and fair play in all their dealings for peace and progress to reign in the country.

He blamed the litany of agitations and restiveness in different sections of the country on “injustice, imbalance, inequality, nepotism and recklessness in governance”.

Nwosu urged the president to have a rethink over his stance on the 2014 National Conference Report.

He said that implementing the recommendations of the conference would go a long way to solve the nation’s hydra-headed problems.

He frowned at the killings and other mayhem allegedly being perpetrated by gunmen in different parts of the country.

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to take decisive measures to deal with the menace and other security challenges facing the nation.


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