Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has charged journalists to devote more time to investigative journalism as it forms a crucial aspect of the fight against corruption.
He gave the charge on January 7, 2019 in Abuja at the opening ceremony of 3-day Training on Investigative Journalism for Anti Corruption and Accountability Campaign in Local Languages, organized by Wadata Communications Nigeria Limited with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
“The media plays a hugely invaluable role in exposing corrupt practices in the society, and investigative journalism serves as the conscience of any nation,” he said.
Magu, who was represented by Tony Orilade, EFCC’s Acting Spokesperson, called on the participants, to do away with “armchair journalism” and channel their energies to “exposing corruption on the society”.
He said: “An investigative journalist is the one that stands out among other journalists; one who does not engage in armchair journalism – cut and paste journalism, or brown envelope journalism, but instead, engages in deep, extensive, in-depth and serious research into issues of corruption.”
Describing the role of an investigative journalist to that of a whistle-blower, he called on participants at the workshop, to “take up the challenge and devote more time to investigative journalism”.
He also emphasized the importance of keeping contacts with relevant stakeholders that will make their reports more credible and of high integrity.
He used the opportunity to call on journalists to play an active role in the upcoming general elections.
“Every Nigerian has an important role to play in ensuring that the coming elections are not only free and fair, but in addition to this, is now the added responsibility of ensuring that the elections are devoid of the now dangerous trend of vote-buying,” he said.
Amina Salihu, Senior Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation, commended the promoters of Wadata Communications Nigeria Limited for the initiative to come up with the training, as she said “at MacArthur Foundation, we welcome everyidea to reduce corruption to its barest minimum”.