|Senator Ngi Christopher|
cannot survive without the other, notes Deborah Potter.
This view is upheld by French political writer Alexis de Tocqueville when he says “you can’t have real newspapers without democracy and you can’t have democracy without newspapers”.
Surprisingly, an alternate senator and CPDM militant from the Donga Mantung division says the press has no place in ensuring that government is run transparently.
At the launch of campaigns for senatorial elections in Ako, Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region on April 7, 2013, Mr Ngi Christopher Ntoh told councilors and everyone present that he and other party bigwigs were not newspaper politicians.
Speaking at the MBECUDA hall in Ako, Mr Ntoh said a senatorial hopeful from the same division who lost in his bid to grab a seat in the Upper House asked him, ‘what are people doing?’ He simply told him ‘we are not newspaper politicians’.
He further told his unlucky colleague that newspapers mean nothing to them as they (politicians) are concerned about their people.
Though Senator Ntoh did not mention the name of the unfortunate colleague, political observers who listened to him had their minds drifting towards ‘Senator’ Nick Ngwanyam.
However the worry many reporters like this reporter left with from Ako was how a politician can succeed without the press.
The third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson in 1787 wrote “the basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter”.
Those who snubbed the Press
Though many politicians will not choose a government without newspapers, there are still some politicians in the Donga Mantung Division who would prefer a government without one of its invaluable limbs, the press.
Earlier on April 14, 2013 before the vote tallying could begin in Nkambe, the Substantive CPDM senatorial candidate, Professor Jikong Stephen Yeriwa turned down a request for an interview. Even when the preliminary vote count was over, journalists were unable to locate him to get his appraisal of the polls.
Besides, given that his alternate Ngi Christopher Ntoh had earlier declared that they were not newspaper politicians, no journalist cared to get his opinion on the conduct of the polls.
Meanwhile another CPDM bigwig and communal campaign president to Nkambe Central, Honourable Shey Jones Yembe who journalists spotted in the crowd jubilating snubbed journalists without any remorse.
A jubilant Mr Yembe who ranted and raved that a similar defeat of the SDF will surface soon at local elections shocked journalists who trailed him to his residence. All they got from Honourable Shey Jones Yembe was brazen refusal to talk to the press.
Nkemda Simon Sunde, Mayor of Misaje is also reported to have fled from an interview with pressmen.
According to a hint the patience of the ruling CPDM party in Misaje is increasingly ebbing out with his stewardship of the local council.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi