“Time Will Tell On My Position In APC” – Saraki
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Saturday declared that time will determine his position in the affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Saraki noted that although he does not want to dwell on the issue of whether he is still wanted in APC or not, he said “time will tell what happens.”
The Senate President made the declaration at a farewell dinner for delegates of the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress which he hosted in Abuja.
The Senate President was responding to a comment by the Chairman, Daily TrustNewspapers, Kabiru Yusuf, who praised him for going to Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser Hajj, went to Russia where he addressed the Russian parliament and returned home to attend the APC convention “a party to which he belongs but which increasingly does not belong to him.”
Saraki appeared to have been taken aback by the remark that he “belongs to APC but increasingly the party does not belong to him.”
He said, “Kabiru made a comment and said that he welcomes me as a member of the party and further said he is not sure if the party welcomes me as much as I welcome them.
“I am not going to comment on that because I will be here all night commenting on that. I won’t like to be the front page story but time will tell on that.
“Already, based on this comment, I know most newspapers headline would be time will tell. So I won’t be surprised if I check This Day newspapers and I see: The Senate President says time will tell.”
On the IPI World Congress in Africa, Saraki expressed hope that in the near future Africa will receive nod to host it again.
He also expressed pleasure that the world’s best journalists, editors and media executives converged in Nigeria to explore the theme – ‘Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media For Strong Societies’.
Saraki noted that he had no doubt, from the engaging sessions and enriching discussions over the last couple of days, many strategies should have been formulated that will take the practice of journalism to new heights around the world.
He welcomed IPI officials to Nigeria and called for more regular visits, and indeed annual congresses, in Africa.
“This, I believe, will make for better understanding of Nigerians and Africans in the eyes of the international media. When international journalists themselves come in our midst and get the right position about Africa, the image of our continent will start to improve in the eyes of the world out there,” Saraki said.
The visiting journalists, he said, will agree with him that “negative stereotypes of the so-called ‘dark continent’ have been bandied about for too long.
“This has had an unfortunate effect on the development of Africa, as well as the sense of pride and dignity of young Africans down the ages.”
The Senate President said that they know that “these negative notions of Africa are largely misconceptions.”
According to him, “in those cases where there may have been some truth in them, what we also know is that culture is not static. Some things that may have been true of Nigeria in the 1930s are no longer the case in the Nigeria of today. We can say much the same about America in many respects, or indeed of any place else.
“Culture is dynamic and refreshes itself; it evolves. It would therefore be appropriate for the larger world’s view of Africa to move apace, in line with the changing times. The media is key to achieving this.”
He added that “how we begin to redress the balance goes to the heart of responsible journalism itself.
“It starts with quality, accurate and objective reporting – the hallmarks of good journalism. Objectivity and impartiality, those time-honoured principles of responsible journalism, cannot be over-emphasised,” he said.
Saraki noted that “as Nigeria heads into the 2019 election year, we plead with the press – national and international – to maintain objectivity at all times in their reporting.”
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