In any credible democratic setting, it is elementary knowledge that a journalist is at liberty to think, decide and write on what is believed to be independent opinion on an issue that is topical or of common interest.
However, it is also low in logic and intellect for any journalist to assume that the right of free expression is a license to convey baseless, superfluous and reckless aspersions against some persons or group.
Indeed, any journalist that assumes such an exclusive preserve to create improper and unfair remarks without just, rational and legitimate basis is huge joke and disaster to professional journalism.
Unfortunately, the tendency of few journalists to misuse the seeming unbridled license extended to the practice of journalism is enormous minus for this honorable profession.
This self-styled journalism of advancing skewed motives and biased reporting is quite evident in this era of new media where it has become a common practice to publish articles without thorough investigation.
Most of the time, this minority set of writers in their attempt to tarnish the reputation and dignity of their targets for self-interest, write scurrilous articles with conclusions that not only impute partiality but covey improper motives.
Sadly, such reports are converse to tolerable standards in the conduct of proper journalism in Nigeria.
A telling example of such media negativity is found in a recent article, titled ‘Gov Okowa, Goodbye to Second Term’ by one Fejiro Oliver which was published in many online media.
The write up which ought to have conveyed views that should provide credible reasons why the incumbent Governor Okowa of Delta State does not deserve a second term deviated entirely from readers’ expectation.
Rather it dwelled on an unconnected but sensitive issue relating to Delta state Governor’s unwillingness to go the usual old way of sharing money amongst politicians and supposed friends including the writer, Fejiro.
Frankly put, it would not have even mattered whether or not the views expressed in the article are in favour or against Governor Okowa as it is a moral task of any responsible citizen in a democratic setting to hold their elected leadership accountable and critique or interrogate their policies which are considered bad.
Unfortunately, the article on prediction of 2019 Delta governorship elections is a far departure from constructive analysis on Governor Okowa’s performance or inadequacy in government.
That Oliver Fejiro’s article did not contain any meaningful deconstruction of the efforts or otherwise of the Delta State government is not strange but remains very disturbing and misleading in this modern era where readers reach conclusions based on newspaper opinions.
The write up which did not offer readers any genuine basis for judgement is best regarded as a work of fiction and deliberate attempt to advance deception through journalism.
According to the writer’s comments on Governor Okowa, “As a governor, he’s extremely nice and dedicated to work.
He has the heart of gold to deliver prosperity to Deltans.
He has the desire to truly make Delta the hub of industrialization and a commercial city of repute, but unfortunately swallowed by unseen hands that manipulate him”.
These remarks on Governor Okowa are very conflicting, self-contradicting and may not even call for any meaningful argument on the topic.
Unequivocally, from this singular narrative, it is obvious that the writer’s major focus was certainly not do any honest analysis on the Okowa’s administration or on what it portends for the people of Delta state but to pour a baggage of criticisms on the aides of the Governor.
In fact, it is very twisty, crude and unrefined for any responsible journalist to describe a Governor as good, yet openly stimulate fears into him that he is carrying burning coals in his hands because money is not being shared to persons termed political supporters.
Granted that in a democracy, it is the right of any person to express personal views on issues but from additional comments in Fejiro’s article, the substance in his allegations against Governor Okowa’s aides is of little value to good governance and appraisal of an administration’s performance.
Actually, if the real intent of the article was to embarrass and infuse confusion in the minds of the public about Delta State Government’s estimation, then the writer foundered on his weak ability to find quality logic and proof.
His introduction of half-truths that have no relevance to evaluating Okowa’s governance clearly buttresses the assumption that the assessment of Governor Okowa’s leadership was not a major interest.
Specifically, Fejiro’s political write up which lays great emphasis on Governor Okowa’s defiance to ‘share the money’ after his claim of personal meeting in which he proffered suggestions that have not been implemented probably for Delta State resources to be transferred to individual pockets of politicians and appointees is not only dubious, wicked but exposes his myopic and selfish interest which does not serve common good.
Fejiro’s lack of understanding that it is no longer business as usual is because he may not possess an analytical mind to do a simple analysis of the Delta State troubling financial situation.
Nor can he understand that the nation’s recession era has a direct proportionate impact on the State’s revenue especially in the period where militant activities have affected oil derivation revenue and by extension resources of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DELSOPADEC’ which he mentioned has been deprived of appropriate funding.