I watched RUFAI OSENI the anchor on ARISE TV fiercely condemn Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubus decision to call on key members of his team to answer some questions posed to him at Chatham House London and in the words of Oseni, Asiwajus display of teamwork and inclusivity was a bad call and a case of nonsensical delegation Oseni declared that he had nothing against any Presidential candidate, but in his own words, he declared that: “I feel ashamed as a Nigerian” that Asiwaju did not answer every question alone and by himself at such a public gathering abroad. The TV anchor’s tone was derisive and condescending even as likened the Q&A to a scene from a Ghanian comedy.

The raw display of emotion by Rufai Oseni and his aspersion to feeling “ashamed” is obviously meant to ridicule and bring Asiwaju to disrepute, and to my mind this is at great variance with the ethos of journalistic etiquette and reflects an uncanny height of devious cruelty. ARISE TELEVISION is a world news channel which offers perspectives seldom aired and, in its stead, I read the GUIDELINES ON INTEGRITY of NEW YORK TIMES, (a sister global media enterprise), where the newspaper declared that; “reporters, editors, photographers and all members of the news staff of The New York Times share a common and essential interest in protecting the integrity of the newspaper. It is noteworthy that in 1998, the news, editorial and business leadership of New York Times declared jointly that: Our greatest strength is the authority and reputation of The Times. We must do nothing that would undermine or dilute it and everything possible to enhance it.

In my view, the “greatest strength” of ARISE TV should be its reputation for constructive analysis and to maintain this authority and impeccable credentials should be the kernel and overarching objective of the news channel, so that Nigerians will believe that in truth, ARISE TV only seeks to conscientiously keep our politicians on their toes and the electorate informed, as we head towards the 2023 elections! As it stands today, there are those who see the Arise Morning Show as the peoples court where government officials are interrogated and made to answer questions which ordinary Nigerians cannot ask them. As an anchor on the Morning Show, Rufai Oseni has the ethical obligation to carry out his professional duties in a manner that is decent, objective and devoid of emotion.

Every word Oseni says on ARISE TV, must bring to bear accuracy, brevity, clarity, coherence, emphasis, objectivity and unity. In that regard, Oseni’s emotional outburst regarding the way and manner Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu tackled questions at Chatham House, was neither balanced nor fair.

I am a person who is in complete agreement with the spirit and letter of the “Fairness Doctrine” of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which requires the holders of broadcast licenses to present delicate or controversial matters of public importance in a manner that is honest, equitable, and balanced. The vituperations by Rufai Oseni were emotional and laced with hostile intent to show that Asiwaju is bereft of lofty ideas to answer basic questions of governance. Recall that a critique is valuable only when it is not maliciously destructive, but a careful and critical inquiry seeking facts and pertinent information on a specific subject matter. Television Stations like ARISE and their anchors have an immeasurable important role in setting the agenda for political campaign, and they should be the first to know that to criticize does not necessarily imply "to find fault", or to attack a political figure or bring such a person to disrepute, but to show that something is better served by an alternative approach.

Constructive criticism analyzes all views of a particular subject, and leaves it to the audience to make up their own decisions. Social criticism are often suggestions for improvement  how things could be done better or more acceptably. But before any social critic like Oseni should become emotional and go about blatantly criticizing any public figure, he owes himself the moral responsibility to give such a figure, a benefit of the doubt based upon the subject’s track records and antecedent, so that ARISE Tv is seen to consciously extoll the professional values and principles of Truth and Accuracy, Independence, Fairness and Impartiality, Humanity and Accountability. These should be the hallmark of a true social critic. My advice to Rufai Oseni is this; please never forget that your role is to keep creepers in line. Remind yourself to keep emotions out of your analysis on the ARISE Morning Show. It is not your job to bark and bite at the same-time. And please show respect to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

On all counts, Nigerians -be they friends or foe alike, are all in agreement that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has earned the right to be respected: He has the intellectual resonance, evidence of unprecedented success in public service and personal substance-not only to answer the questions asked of him with regards to governance; but most importantly Asiwaju has the capacity, character and competence to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



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