Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, on Thursday accused the media of “conspiracy of silence” over the incomplete representation of the state in the national assembly.
While declaring open the 12th All Nigeria Editors Conference organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Port Harcourt, Wike urged the editors to be fair in their reportage and stand with the Rivers people in their quest for free and fair elections.
He said as watchdogs and guardians of public interest, “no other profession can give us the opportunity to know the truth about our country”.
He lamented that despite insecurity in other parts of the country, it was only in Rivers state that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had failed to conclude elections.
“The 8th National Assembly is well into the second year of its four-year tenure without any Rivers state representative in the senate, and only a fraction in the house of representatives, ” Wike said.
“Yet, the press is maintaining conspiratorial silence over the continuing repression and deliberate denial of the state’s constitutional right to full and effective representation at the national assembly.
“The question is: Can Rivers state legitimately be bound by legislation or resolutions from the 8th national assembly passed without our representation and input?
“In these politically-terrifying times, we urge everyone of you to be objective in your coverage and reportage of events and stand with the people of Rivers state in our quest for free and fair re-run elections, instead of serving as proxies for those elements and tendencies that are bent on holding us captives and depriving us of our freedoms and liberties.”
Funke Egbemode, president of NGE, said the conference was targeted at promoting Agriculture as the nation’s alternative revenue earner.
Also speaking, Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of Delta state, urged journalists to work towards making agriculture attractive to the youths.
He said the unattractive nature of agriculture as a source of revenue had made it difficult for youths to invest their time and resources in the venture.
Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state and chairman of the occasion, said a return to agriculture as a revenue source is in the best interest of the country.
The 12th All Nigeria Editors Conference was attended by more than 300 senior editors for several parts of the country.