The Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has revealed why he always sing and dance at campaigns and public events, stating that “If I had not gone to school, I would have been a Fuji musician,”
Speaking with newsmen in the state, the governor came hard on the media for carrying mischievous, desperate and malicious reports against his administration, insisting that his government is not among the worst in the country.
He asserted that the credibility gap in the nation’s media publications has resulted to newspapers in the country presently circulating less than 300,000 copies, whereas a popular title sold 500,000 copies per edition in this country up until 1975.
According to Aregbesola, “I am happy that our state continues to survive in spite of the mischievous, desperate and malicious contents in some sections of the media against our government. Unfortunately, media in recent times have portrayed our government as one of the worst in the country whereas the reverse is the case.
“Sunday Times in those days sold 500,000 copies per edition in this country up until 1975 and Sunday Times was so popular that whoever was literate in Nigeria will want to read it either by borrowing it, buying it or going to the library. The circulation of all Nigeria newspapers today is less than 300,000, so it should therefore interest us how a nation with increased population generally, have almost ten time of graduates that we had in 1975 now has the circulation figures we now have. It is therefore important for us to interrogate the decline in readership.
“If you ask me, closely watching the economy, the decline is as a result of credibility gap in our media publications. I want to appeal to our media people to support the course of disseminating reliable, accurate, informative and entertaining news. Reports in newspapers have erroneously portrayed us as a famished state. About this time last year, it was as if heaven will fall. It was as if the entire world was collapsing on our state. What churches do normally became an opportunity to portray us as famine-stricken state. One person even went to the extent of donating his wardrobe allowance.
“Everything was made to look as if people are dying on the streets here. Recently, I still read in our papers that we are owing mountains of salaries, while the reverse is actually the case. I have decided to ignore such tantrums. Available records have shown that there is no iota of doubt in the fact that some media practitioners have demonstrated their hatred to us through their adamant disposition to falsehood, baseless and unfounded claims against our noble political voyage.
“I wonder why they found it difficult to display high sense of commitment to journalistic ethics and media professional code of conduct despite the conspicuous realities. The pertinent question is that whether or not the media assess itself, facts must always be disseminated and reported, and it is on the basis of this we have always advised the media experts to support the dissemination of reliable, accurate, objective, authentic, impersonal, dis-sensational and factual news.
“No amount of propaganda and condemnation would dissuade us from attaining economic prosperity just as we are determined to complete all the ongoing projects before the end of our tenure here. I am not quarreling with any paper. I only plead for accurate reporting of events. To those of you who are critical but factual, it is your hard stance that has kept us on our toes. I want to appeal to the media to be factual in their reports.”