Media And Gov. Ikpeazu’s Second Term Bid – By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
The media are noted for supporting and mobilising the citizenry for noble causes. The struggle for the Nigerian independence could not have been won by the nationalists if not for the laudable contributions of the media. It also took crucial interventions of the media to abort the apartheid regime. It will require enormous time and space for the laudable contributions of the media in the development of humanity to be captured here.
The media perform these functions through educating, informing and entertaining the public. Outside the primary functions of the media, such ancillary functions such as integration and mobilisation are deployed to good use. It is through these ancillary functions that the citizenry are integrated into the programmes and policies of the government. The game does not begin and end with integration, rather the support of the citizenry needs to be mobilised for them to buy into such policies.
It is another political season across the country and aspirants are most long for one political position or the other ranging from the state houses of assembly to the presidency. This is indeed a hectic period for the media as spaces in both surface and soft copy newspapers and magazines are dedicated to promote the prospective programmes and policies of the aspirants. The electronic media are not equally spared as their airtime are dedicated to projecting these aspirations.
In Abia State, a feeling is pervading the nooks and crannies of the state. The feeling is traveling at a supersonic speed faster than the deadliest hurricane. It is a bg has caught up with every citizen of the state. The feeling is the second term bid of Gov Okezie Ikpeazu.
The media, like they have always done before, have a cruial role to play in this campaign .That the sterling performances of the governor in areas of infrastructure, health, education, commerce and trade, agriculture have been communicated to the Abia citizenry before now through the education and information functions of the media do not require further emphasis. But the appeal to the media here is that the time is ripe for ancillary roles of integration and mobilisation to be deployed enormously.
This will enable the citizenry to appreciate the more the need reelect the governor to continue his good work.
This approach becomes more pertinent now that a bunch of political journeymen and grandstanders have either joined the gubernatorial race or mobilising support for some aspirants. It also becomes necessary where the ethical issue of “objectivity” in the media is allegedly seriously eroded, owing largely to the advent of some versions or branches of the media.
The media are hereby also appealed not to spare the new objectivity concept which entails telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This can be achieved in depth reporting and analyes which will offer the readers and listeners to compare and contrast and distinguish between the wolves in the sheep’s skin and the true sheep.It will offer Abians the opportunity to distinguish between the gladiators and the genuine contenders.
Another crucial issue to be highlighted by the media here is the issue of equity.Equity demands that Abia South, which is one of the senatorial zones in the state should have a double shot at the number one position of the state to bring the power distribution at par with the other senatorial districts in the state.
Flowing from this argument, it is incontrovertible that Abia South did deserves a second term in office to balance the power distribution. It is equally incontrovertible that the man who the cap fits is Gov.Okezie Ikpeazu, strong arguments abound to support this. Before his emergence as governor in 2015, Aba, the commercial hub and the goose that lay the olden eggs was literally lying prostrate and begging for urgent attention. Today, the narrative of this giant if trade and commerce has changed. It is now conspicuously situated in the world as its products are competing favourably in the international market.
Besides, when the automated shoe making concept of the governor comes into full stream, Abia will better as multiple income for the state will be attracted through this. This innovation will ensure mass production of shoes with quality to satisfy demands from markets across the globe.
It will be recalled that before now some artisans have been exposed to economic trips overseas.The essence of this exposure was to familiarize Aba shoe manufacturers with mechanized methods of manufacturing shoes which is the vogue in Turkey in particular, and the world in general. It was also to elevate their skill with training and exposure to modern technology to enhance capacity.
Another innovation of the governor worthy of mention is the proposes cluster for garment, shoe, belt and bag workers at Umukalika, in the outskirt of Aba. This cluster would be equipped with a resource centre that could enable businessmen to register their trademarks, do quality control and open them to markets beyond the shores of Nigeria. The mindset of Gov. Ikpeazu is to conquer the Nigerian market first and make forays into West and Central Africa.
The benefits of the cluster are multifarious. It will also ensure that the leather workers enjoy economies of scale. The concentration of men with similar skills will promote competition and innovation and will provide the common spirit that is necessary for cooperation and cross fertilisation of ideas. By bringing the shoe manufactures into clusters, they will easily learn about changing economic conditions, adapt and benefit from the changes. The physical proximity of these would encourage interaction and promote the exchange of ideas and expertise and this will, at the end, stimulate innovation and economic growth.
The revolution in agriculture which will in few years elevate Abia State to an oil palm hub needs not to be overemphasized. This and other giant strides of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu need to be adequately communicated to Abians for them to have a full grasp of why the governor should in office beyond 2019.