By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€” SOUTH-South governors have expressed their resolve to support President Goodluck Jonathan on his planned electoral reform by ensuring that the gospel of one man, one vote succeeded in the region.
Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who disclosed this while declaring open the Maiden Media Retreat for senior journalists in the Niger Delta in Asaba, weekend, expressed fears that efforts being made to sustain the peace in the region might not succeed unless the people of the area were allowed to choose their leaders.
It would be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State had kicked off the campaign for â€œone man, one voteâ€ in a rally in Benin City last month, which most of the governors in the south attended.
However, Dr Uduaghan, who stressed the need for people of the zone and Nigeria as a whole to allow a free and fair election in the forthcoming 2011 general elections, asserted that there wasÂ nothing as good as a free and fair election.
He said: â€œWe, governors in the South-South, have agreed to ensure that one man, one vote succeeds in the region.
â€œThe Niger Delta cannot attain the desired peace if the electoral system is flawed. All of us are working together to assist President Goodluck Jonathan in reforming the electoral system.â€
The governor, who used the opportunity to appeal to the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, to fight quackery in the profession, lamented that some well-to-do individuals were using journalists to misinform the people.
According to him, â€œ It is sad that journalism has become a profession where some people who do not have a job go into.
â€œThe bad image the press has today emanated from the activities of these quacks. So I challenge the NUJ to seriously take care of this situation because these are the people that are being used to destroy the society. We have reports of people sending text messages to journalists to write what is not true.
â€œLast time, Warri was supposed to host the Under-17 World Cup but the thing was taken away from us on security ground. And it was based on the reports by you people. I made serious efforts to explain to the FIFA officials that the situation was not as bad as it was being painted. They brought out cut outs of reports, all of them saying that Warri was not safe, which was not true.
“So, we must be careful about what we report because they go a long way in damaging the society.â€