By Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has charged Nigerian journalists to discharge their duties within the ambit of professional ethics to avoid blowing issues out of proportion.
Speaking at a two-day symposium on Good Governance organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with the office of the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Media and Strategy at the weekend, he urged journalists to strictly adhere to the ethnics of the professional in the course of discharging their responsibility as the watch dog of the society.
According to the governor, journalists all over the world are required to be the watch dog of the government, noting that the western world used the media to promote their country and democracy.
He stressed that: “Our democracy is young and we need to grow fast as government relay heavily on the media to grow.”
Bello who described the theme of the symposium as appropriate, enjoined the organisers to deepen people’s understanding of good governance through the various sessions and topics.
He said: “I expect the issues around bribery and corruption, abuse of office, conflict of interest, accountability, teamwork, communication, work ethics among others to be treated in detail.”
While assuring NUJ of his government commitment and role towards making sure that the existing collaboration stands the test of time, Bello said as a government, they are interested and have resolved to work with journalists, adding that the new administration will create the enabling environment to allow genuine and professional practice of journalism to thrive in the state.
“A good government, among other virtues, allows for the free flow of information. We will be open and we solicit the cooperation of the Fourth Estate of the Realm to help improve good governance through proper orientation, sustained information dissemination and increased mobilisation of the people of the state in their government,” the governor enthused.
Earlier, the National President of NUJ, Waheed Odusile, commended the state government for collaborating with the union to organised the symposium.
He however advised the state government not to hide any information from journalists, saying the resultant effect could be more disastrous than imagine.
Also in his speech, the Chairman of Kogi state council of NUJ, Ali Atabor, stated that the symposium was part of activities put together by the council to mark the 2016 democracy day.
Atabor who expressed gratitude to the governor for his ability to attend the occasion, appealed to him to provide operational vehicle to the union to enable it facilitate movement to various places of assignment.
Lectures were delivered at the symposium by former acting Governor of Kogi State, Chief Clarence Olafemi; the former Editor of Daily Times, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo; Usman Sule and Dr. John Alabi.