The realities of the Nigerian electorate is believed to be known by all potential political office holders and an action plan to solve them should be in place well before they take up the mantle of leadership.
On December 1, 2019, a TIMER was introduced to the general public at a media launch organised by Last Media, publishers of politico.ng . According to the Editor-in-Chief, Emmanuel Malagu, on December 1, “it is 441 days to the next general elections in Nigeria that will be conducted in 2019.”
He went further to say that politico.ng was launched to help politicians and the electorate to plan properly.
“For those aspiring to be voted for, they need to plan on what to do to be elected and when they emerge victorious at the polls, they should be well armed with ideas and solutions to the various problems that they had mentioned during their campaigns.
“For the electorate, they need to ask the right questions. This will ensure that the right persons will be voted for, based on the answers they got.
During the questions and answer session, the publisher, Lai Omotola, was of the view that politco.ng platform was “a specialised form that talks only about politics. It will act as a warehouse of political matters from the local government to the federal government. So, when you are interested in politics, politco.ng is the place to go.”
He went further to explain the politico.ng was being built as a medium that “will grow into an authoritative platform for anyone to read on.”
On the TIMER, Omotola said that it was as a complimentary service, which is at the core objective that is strictly reporting political news.
He observed that for the past month, the platform had been running political news, adding that politico.ng will “analyse political news, dispense political news and investigate political news.”
Malagu said that from time-to-time, at major political events, politico.ng will be on ground, live. “I know that a lot of media houses will also be there, but we will give minute-by-minute details. We assure you that we will soon be the reference authority on all things political.”
The common question of which part of the nation’s political divide is the politico.ng was came up from the journalists at the launch. And Omotola made it clear that he was neither for or against any party or individual. He added that he was not even contesting, but “seeking to remain objective in our reporting on politico.ng. Our style will show creativity and initiative.”
It was Omotola’s opinion that, the reason many don’t go to vote is partially due to the media. Therefore, he said, “We need to remind people of the need and their right to vote, particularly when we throw up issues that pertain to them, adding that, “what we intend to do is to increase the number of voters in 2019.”
“We want to move people to the ballot box to change the narrative and taking back the power to the people. We want to get the electorate.”
“At evening hang-outs, recreational facilities, about 65% of the discussion is based on politics but they don’t move forward with it or do anything about the issues raised,” he said.
This, he said, cannot achieve much, “if we don’t engage all the stakeholders. We have identified them and have written to them also to inform them of the launch of the platform, politico.ng.”
“For every political dispensation we are moving into, we have a series of events that we will organise that would engage all stakeholders. We have initiatives we want to do with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties and the electorate.”
On feedback, the publisher mentioned the synergy with other media houses and round-table discussions “where we will continue to talk about politics and how to make it better in our country.”
Setting the agenda
This, Omotola said, “is a collective responsibility of everyone, that is, every journalist. We all have a role to play in setting the agenda and getting the right person into office.
“For everyone that says or mentions that he or she knows something about Nigeria, they say that they read it from a newspaper. We want to maintain a narrative that is not bias, not irresponsible and one that is not too critical, i.e. a narrative that is constructive; one that is futuristic.
“We cannot do everything, we can only contribute our own quota. We can only bring innovations that people will subscribe to us and promote our agenda.”
Omotola said that politioco.ng had no relationship with a platform of the same name based in the United States and South Africa, but did not ruled out ties with them in the future.