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Agenda Setting: Media Needs To Set Agenda For Ruling Class, Oppositions As Development Is Concern- Rafiu Ajakaye

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Agenda Setting: Media Needs To Set Agenda For Ruling Class, Oppositions As Development Is Concern- Rafiu Ajakaye

Leaders over the years have refused to fix the systemic problems

An online Newspaper platform, Afrika Eyes on Thursday, 19 January 2023 unveiled a campus journalism program in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The program served as a reliable training ground where future journalists can sharpen their journalistic skills as their academic institutions prepare them to contribute to the world.

The publisher of Afrika Eyes, Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed disclosed this while unveiling the program in the state capital.

According to him, “Afrika Eyes would collaborate with tertiary institutions in Kwara State to allow students to hone their journalistic skills and be the voice of change by getting readers to think about pressing issues that they probably would not have read anywhere else.

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“Afrika Eyes endeavours to provide a platform for students or student communities who are desirous to broaden their horizons beyond the confines of their campuses and discuss topics such as investigative reporting, climate change, human rights, features, opinions, documentaries and community reporting.
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He explained that as the number of journalism students increases, the majority of them often graduate without having a practical knowledge of the profession, hence they struggle to fit into the real world of journalism upon graduation.

He, however, urged all the stakeholder present at the event to embrace and support campus journalism as a good training ground for future journalists.

The guest speaker, Mr Nicholas Nwaruonye,  Bureau Chief of Daily Independent, spoke at the event on ‘what role does media play in the election process’.

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He said the role of media is to hold the government accountable, and as a watchdog, journalists need to know the issue that is font burner in Nigeria right now.

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According to him, “That’s where the media need to situate their roles as what does agenda setting is.

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He said the principal challenges as to do with governance, and it is not about name-calling or scapegoating anybody, but a systemic failure.

“Leaders over the years have refused to fix the systemic problems. Institutional decay has always been the problem. The agenda-setting needs to be brought before us and we look to it too.

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“As a journalist, we need to ask what the candidates are bringing to the table, if there is insecurity in the country, we need to identify the problem and ask how people are coping with it. Media need to put the goal clearly to the electorate that in the past this is how we used to play our politics but this time around we need major goals which are the parameter for good governance.

He added that journalists need to stick to agenda-setting and hold governments accountable.

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In his remark, the Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara state governor, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye, said he will always be by the side of the media because he belongs to the industry.

While addressing the students at the event, he said journalism started with discipline, as a young journalist the number one role is to keep to time.

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According to him, “Media need to set the agenda for the ruling class, the politicians whether a member of the governing party or member of the oppositions.

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He said people don’t understand the difference between the APC, PDP, SPD and other political parties, says that’s a big challenge because it creates a dilemma for the electorates to choose.

Giving an instance, Ajakaye said people should understand why they should reelect AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the second term governor.

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People should be able to ask what are their agenda, aims and objectives if AbdulRazaq is doing something on education, what are the other candidates going to do on education differently?

Are they offering free health, and free education, journalists need to ask where are the funds to do that are coming from.

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He said these are the questions journalist needs to interrogate and need to set the agenda for a candidate that is promising heaven and earth and ask more questions on how are they going to execute all the program they promised.

“We are not saying people should not ask questions, says government must also respond to the public respectfully.

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Mr Ajakaye, said what questions are they asking, and what is topic did they want the government to discuss?

Is the public interested in the answers or dragging the next person to use the local palace?

He, however, urges the journalists to set the agenda for development and encourages the upcoming journalists to always keep to time and at least write a story on daily basis, to sharpen their skills and prepare them for a better tomorrow in their chosen career.

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In his remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Kwara State, Malam Attahiru Madami, represented by Adamu Musa, said accredited journalists and allied staff have the right to cover all elections and procedures within the respective jurisdiction.

He said, journalists, are expected to strictly abide by the relevant laws, INEC regulations and guidelines as well as the ethics of journalism is concerned.

He, however, said media organizations deploying journalists to cover the 2023 General election should apply online ti the commission portal via

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Mr Musa added that each media organization is required to assign a nominee as well as liaise with the department of voter education and publicity in the states for processing of applications.

In his speech, Mr Abideen Olasupo, the Global Director of Brain Builder Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) said media organizations especially in Kwara state have always been supporting his organization.

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Mr Olasupo said he was once a campus journalist student at the University of Ilorin, he acknowledge the importance of campus journalism and advise the students to focus on their journalistic skills.

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He urges all campus journalism students to be careful of a story that can put them in trouble or jeopardize their admission as he said no news is worth one life, a journalist must be alive to tell a story.

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