Mohammed, a member of the House of Representatives representing the people of Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency of Kwara State made this disclosure while fielding questions from members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ibadan.
The Federal Lawmaker had earlier delivered a paper with the title, ‘The Nigerian Press and Democratic Governance; the Journey So Far’ at the Chapel’s Guest Forum held at Mokola, Ibadan secretariat of the union.
While giving his assessment of the media in the last 16 years of democratic experience, the lawmaker, who was a journalist before venturing into politics gave a damning verdict as he submitted that the media coverage of democracy in the last 16 years had not been impressive.
He maintained that there were a lot of vices going on within the polity which the Nigerian press had not done enough about reporting, adding, “not only that our media practitioners are not doing enough of whistle blowing, the political actors run to the media for cover”.
Mohammed said Nigerians should be tired of politicians and the media in the last 16 years because of their unwritten collaboration to rob the country of robust democratic gains.
The lawmaker charged the media practitioners to place the interest of the country above any other consideration, adding, “to entrench democracy, we should not monetize the profession, we owe this country a lot, other countries are only better than Nigeria because of organization.
“The dullest of lawyer is treated with decorum, there must be an entry point into the profession like the medical, law, accounting and other professions to enhance the dignity of the profession, the image of journalists should be worked upon.
“If you are shabbily treated, you will be shabbily rewarded”, he said, noting that some of the practitioners in the National Assembly have been making efforts to ensure legislation against poor remuneration of journalists with a promise that he on his part would not relent.