Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has charged the Nigerian press to be objective in their reportage of events and avoid alignment with some individuals who wage unnecessary and unwarranted wars of attrition against perceived enemies within and outside of government.
The Governor gave the charge on earlier today in Ado Ekiti at the Correspondents’ Week and Book Presentation organized by the Correspondents Chapel of the Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Ado-Ekiti.
Dr. Fayemi who said that the press has a huge responsibility to launch the impetus for the progress of Nigeria and accelerate the speed to outrun the bane of underdevelopment added that in the advanced democracies, vibrant press was essential to responsible and responsive government.
He said: “There is no denying the fact that vibrant press, in the advanced democracies, is sine qua non to responsible and responsive government. I really want our press to be engaging and take deliberate efforts to shun playing to the gallery no matter how attractive such an easy way-out may appear. It is very painful when some sections of the press choose to align with a few mischievous individuals or groups to wage unnecessary and unwarranted wars of attrition against perceived enemies in and/or outside the government.”
While commending the press for objective reportage of events in Ekiti State, the Governor emphasized that his administration had nothing to hide from the people, hence the passage and domestication of the Freedom of Information law in the State; adding that this was aimed at strengthening accountability in public administration.
Fayemi said that rather than taking to rumour-mongering, Ekiti people at home and in the Diaspora should take advantage of the FoI law and legitimately seek information on any area of governance they feel they are in the dark, even as there is information about government’s activities on the state’s website,www.ekitistate.gov.ng.
“This government has deliberately put itself in the court of public opinion to make available to the public required information on how we administer the State and its resources. By the provisions of the Law, we have removed the cover under which unscrupulous public officials hide to perpetrate heinous crimes against the State and waste her commonwealth.
“The law is centrally aimed at making access to public information less stressful, unmitigated and consequently any move by any public official to conceal such public information as required is a criminal act in the eyes of the Law with dire consequences as many as may be pronounced by the Law Court,” he added.
The Governor commended the correspondents in Ekiti for being alive to their responsibility of educating members of the public, holding government accountable and also commending government whenever it does the right things.
Meanwhile, as part of the event, a lecture on the Freedom of Information Law was delivered by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District. Ojudu, before his election, was a practising investigative journalist.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Correspondents chapel, Mr. Tope Babatope had said that the event was meant to present a publication which was a compendium of the activities of the Fayemi-led administration within the first twelve months.
Babatope said: “It came as an opportunity for the people of the State wherever they may be as well as the general reading public to see for themselves how the State Government has fared in its quest to deliver dividends of democracy to the people from the reportage of the variety of independent journalists working in the State.”
According to him, the publication cuts across politics, social security, health, education, economic empowerment, challenges that the administration had faced as well as other elements of the 8-point agenda of the Fayemi-led administration.
Last modified: March 27, 2012