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Friday, 13 November 2020

Devote More Time to Reportage of Issues in Rural Areas - HURIWA Charges Nigerian Media

The Human Rights Writers Association HURIWA has urged the Nigerian media to dedicate at least thirty percent of their reportage to the coverage of activities in rural areas.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja Friday, National Coordinator of HURIWA Emmanuel Onwubiko said it is unfortunate that Nigerians in the rural areas are gradually losing their voices due to the failure of the media to bring their challenges to the forefront of national discourse.

Onwubiko cited the example of the laudable initiative of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria ALGON in establishing 774 Primary Health Care Centers across all the Local Government Areas in the country, a move which he said, is currently being derailed by the various state governors.

He lamented that the poor reportage of matters at the grassroots is the reason why most Nigerians are not even aware of the health Care project which is now in danger of not seeing the light of day in some states: ''The media should focus at least thirty percent of their time to reporting issues in the rural areas. Rather than plotting on how to destroy broadcast stations and how to fine them because they invited Emmanuel Onwubiko or because they invited someone who the President does not want to see his face, the National Broadcasting Commission NBC is supposed to guide broadcast stations on how to be more focused about rural development, because you cannot talk about Sustainable Development Goals if you don't capture the human interest and human rights of rural dwellers, you are not going anywhere.

''If you talk about climate change, you have to talk about local government areas, even the issues of domestic violence, child abuse and child's rights. It shouldn't always be about President Muhammadu Buhari or Senator so so and so or Governor so so and so, people need to hear why there are no good roads in local government areas''.

While calling for the enforcement of autonomy for local government Councils, Onwubiko stated that HURIWA will write to the state governors urging them to desist from politicizing the wonderful initiative of ALGON which he said is geared towards providing health care facilities for the people at the grassroots.

''The governors want to take charge and the only way for them to do so is by saying we don't want this project to continue''. he said.

Onwubiko also stated that there is a Federal High Court judgment which is in support of the continuation of the health care projects in states where works on the facilities have been suspended for over ten years after its conceptualisation, adding that though the state governors have not challenged or appealed the judgment, there were reports that they were still bent on frustrating the completion of the projects. 

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