Press vital for Nigeria’s survival: Okowa

Posted by News Express | 22 February 2017 | 1,635 times

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•Governor Okowa.

  Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has said the press is vital for the survival of Nigeria.

Speaking at the lecture element of the Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, Governor Okowa said through the press, “government can engage the people and the people can engage the government.”

“There are good journalists but, there are those who wants to misinform Nigerians,” Okowa said, noting that it was important for government to cooperate with the media to move the country forward.

According to the Governor, “I want to congratulate you (journalists) on today’s occasion and that I want to note that it was a great success.

“We will continue to do the best we can to support the press and I must thank you (the press) for the cooperation we have continued to receive from you; it is only through partnership with the NUJ that will see us through in this trying time in our nation’s history.”

Okowa used the occasion to congratulate NUJ, Delta State Council, for the success of the week and emphasised that he and his deputy are in one accord and working as “one”.

Before the arrival of the Governor, his deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, had in an address observed: “Alternative news media such as online journals and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) have reshaped and redefined the information landscape. The new reality is “news-as-you-go”. With a smartphone or ipad you can be in your office or in a taxi and be following events around the world as they unfold.

“At the moment, the social media is very much like leaving an automatic rifle in the hands of a five-year old with all the danger that it portends not only to the child but to his immediate family and the society at large.”

The immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was the chairman of the occasion, noted that negative news stories are overwhelming decent news stories on the social media because the social media is accessible to everyone and gives them the opportunity to air their views positively or negatively.

He appealed to the state government not to allow blackmailers to have a field day in the state, noting, that activities of blackmailers through the social media can lead to security challenges to government.

Delivering a lecture on the topic, “Journalists, Social Media and Good Governance”, former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, asserted that the role of the media in ensuring good governance is enshrined in Section 32 of the Nigeria Constitution.

Prof. Osunbor noted that the obligation of ensuring good governance must not rest on the journalist alone but should be a collective responsibility of every citizen, adding that one way of achieving this now is through the social media.

Earlier in an address, the Delta State Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Norbert Chiazor, disclosed that the Delta State NUJ had trained about 40 journalists – Deltans and non Deltans in the prestigious Reuters News Agency in London, United Kingdom and also the union have partnered with different organisations to hold series of seminars.

Comrade Chiazor who expressed his appreciation to the state governor for developing the NUJ secretariat to an appreciable and magnificent level, noted that his tenure is blessed with the monumental achievement of the building of the Delta State NUJ Press Centre.

Source: News Express

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