Media professionals, influencers, others rub minds with Kogi Governor

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Lokoja | 13 October 2017 | 1,974 times

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Kogi State Government has played a host to media professionals, social media activists, social media influencers, and other bloggers to intimate them on some of the latest developments and happenings, with a view to correcting the perception of the public on the state government.

The Programme, Social Media Summit, with the theme “Improving Government Policies Through Social Media Advocacy”, was held on Thursday at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Lokoja, with over 300 invited participants, throughout the country including senior journalists and social media influencers.

Representing the Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Mr Simon Achuba, in his brief remarks, advised media professionals to positively use the essence of the gathering as they are experts in the field of information management.

Reacting to some critical issues being raised by the public against the government of the State on social media, Achuba said: “What most people are saying about us is not the truth. We need you to cross check before you broadcast and publish information so that the possibility of society being in trouble can be reduced. Even as journalists and media influencers, you can injure your existence through false information.”

He expressed satisfaction on the reaction of some engaged media personnel who nicely commented on the few laudable feats achieved by the current government as noticed during the tour to the three district areas of the State; Kogi East, Central and West.

According to Achuba, “I am very sure that some of you came with bad mind towards us before but you must have repented, considering what you are seeing. You have been to places where works are ongoing and can tell the story better.

“Though we are not perfect, we are not resting on oars to bring this state out of its current woods. This is why we have opened our doors to people who want make enquiries about this government.”

The Director General, Media and Publicity, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, while speaking on the purpose of the summit, noted that the administration of Yahaya Bello, which is 21 months old, has recorded some landmark achievements. He said: “This is why we have, on this summit, employed transparency by calling for a gathering like this for media personalities to come and see what we are doing to better the lot of people of Kogi State. We are not hiding anything as far as this government is concerned. We are in a digital government.”

Chief of Staff to the State Government, Mr Edward Onoja, while welcoming participants, said that “Social media is where information is passed to the whole world. Anything little that is said is widely circulated. This summit will allow us to clarify issues and we will be satisfied with our conscience as new Kogi is emerging under Yahaya Bello.”

Speaking further, Onoja stressed that the government of Yahaya is a youthful-personified government, saying youths dominate the political offices. “Ten of us are above 50 of all the political appointees. 90 per cent of the office holders are youths. The governor himself is one of the youngest governors in Nigeria. So we think the social media is of the essence because youths dominate the social media,” he said.

Speaking earlier at the summit, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Mr Odaudu Joel Minister, said that the summit was the first of its kind in Kogi’s political history and became necessary, due to the increasing influence of social media in today’s politics. He added that it was a media related innovation engendered by the government of New Direction under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello.

Joel said further that the current government realised the importance of the contributions of the people towards the governance of the state, and “we are in constant communication with the people for the benefit of the quest for a new and better Kogi State.”

“This government realises the usefulness of the social media and employs it maximally for developmental and progressive interaction with the citizens and friends of Kogi State,” he added.

Mr Ayobami Oyalowo, a social media influencer, explained that social media is a very important tool in our time.

“Power is embedded in social media and we cannot neglect it. Here, destinies are made or destroyed hut depends on how things are addressed. Nigeria is Facebook market in Africa. Any government that neglect its power will have itself facedown. No government should be comfortable if it does not understand how to engage in the usage of social media,” Oyalowo emphasised.

He advised the Kogi State Government to know how to communicate its policies through the social media.

Commenters, during interactive session advised the government to set agenda for the media team to follow by, for example, giving first hand information on how the bailout fund given to the State Government will be dispensed as expected. 

•Photo shows, from right; Representative of the Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello, Deputy Governor Simon Achuba, while speaking at the event; Alhaji Isah Omade, Deputy Chief of Staff and Barrister Salami Ozigi, Commissioner for Water Resources.

Source: News Express

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