Jonathan, as part of his presidential authority aught to come out now, and directly speak to the people and the world about the emerging pattern of killings of Journalists. As a country, Nigeria demonstrates to its inhabitants as a mere reactionary government, as it lacks stable executive directions and political validity, as evidenced by the peoples’ confusion over the true affairs of the nation.
Essentially, there is apparent public paranoia and anxiety in form of confusion, ambiguity, uncertainty and misunderstanding in every day affairs. Along these lines of chaos is the announcement (at the time of this writing) of death of the duly elected President, Yar’ Adua—how safe will it be with regard to the journalistic coverage of this new development, in the northern part of the country especially.
No one other than the journalists could use their pens and fingers, to reveal and dictate to the people the truth about a society that is on life support, because it is in a state of constantly being sold and bought on a non-stop bases by a few depraved hands. To these forces any one or group that stand out as the mouthpiece of truth and justice, and tries to seek out the faces, names or identities of persons sucking the already weak life force, treasury and wealth of the nation, deserve urgent elimination.
In a society that on the surface appeared to be lawful but remains highlighted by disorders and turmoil at almost all levels, and among many of its citizenry, any able journalist is simply careening in dangerous waters. This is more so in a corrupt controlled society where bad objects like illegal guns, harmful drugs, and unaccounted money are streaming across the borders and into a loosely secured society.
In an environment of this sort, an ambassador of truth like a just and daring journalist becomes a target to a corrupt madam, bad judge, corrupt politician, shameless leader, rogue officer, selfish banker, ruthless educator, dishonest student, immoral relative, vicious doctor, uncivil lawyer, and others.
In hostile and politically toxic society like Nigeria, at least within the context of the declaration of violence on journalists, it is only logical that a presidential authority like Goodluck Jonathan, threaten the use of force or the force of executive power to protect journalists both at home, work and in public.
The freedom to put into practice, journalism is pretty cemented into the course of national security. As such, the use of limitless executive or presidential power that inherently allows for the President to by pass members of the National Assembly and the Judiciary in matters of national emergency becomes paramount , as in the case of the domestic tragedies like the recent and series of murder of journalists.
In recent months, journalists reportedly killed include but not limited to the following; Paul Abayomi Ogundeji of Thisday newspaper who was killed in his car. Edo Sule Ugbagwu, a court reporter of the Nation newspaper was killed in his residence, as well as Bayo Ohu of the Guardian reportedly murdered at home. The list goes on!
Like every other profession like Zoology or Chemistry, a sense of national calling through journalism was what attracted these citizens to serve the people. Every time they had the opportunity each one of them, before their tragedy, used their pen to strike a blow against the political world of disorders and in opposition to some bad leaders who have something to hide.
As long as the Press and journalists are under attack through murder, assault, and unlawful detention, the people will live in apathy and the country could permanently become imminently dangerous.
In a country governed by a Constitution, a presidential one especially, Jonathan , through executive directives could immediately begin to reduce the seemingly obvious grave problems facing journalists. This could occur by setting in motion various types of mobilization orders to protect journalists for the next few months or years, particularly those working in nationally sensitive cases or environments.
Journalists for their own protection should become licensed carriers of handguns and other legal protective devices.
Jonathan,, may be aware that as part of the presidential work the occupier of the executive seat have to know that it is an outdoor work, and ought to perform as a manager who is often heard from by the people directly. His existence or national labors should not be mostly noticed through delegates or stand in helpers.
Therefore, an active stance on his part on this brewing national crisis requires his executive declarations now. As long there is no all out free press, then there goes the nation crossing into the land of imminent danger.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE is a licensed Clinical/Forensic Psychologist and an Interim Associate Dean of Behavioral Science at Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida. [email protected]