By Dada Ahmed.
Governor Yahaya Bello of kogi state.
The world over, Journalists,the only professionals mentioned in the realm of governnent as the press, coming after the Executive,the Judiciary and Legislature,are regarded as critical stakeholders in act of governance, information dissemination and management in any organised society.
Putting heads together to ensure a successful symposium.
They may not enjoy the fat salaries and emoluments attached to the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, however, members of the fourth estate of the realm enjoy the same constitutional rights with other members of the realm,a development that enables them to perform their function effectively by contribute their qota to the enthronement of good governance.
In exercising their constitutional role, therefore, they use information management and dissemination as powerful tool to check the excesses of other realms and project programmes and policies of governnent to the people for better understanding,criticism or appreciation.
The state Chairman of NUJ, Alhaji Mimohjimoh Adeiza (left) and some other Journalists at the occasion.
The Journalists also bring to the knowledge of governnent, through reportage of events, investigation, features and editorial among functions, people’s feeling regarding the provision of amenities to make life better for them.
The Guest Speaker,Mr.Emmanuel Ojonugwa Okoliko.
Political analysts argue that the interplay of function of the four realms contribute greatly to good governance, translating to dividends of democracy to the people in some cases.
Aligning with this line of thought, the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Kogi State Council, Alhaji Mimohjimoh Adeiza, agrees that Journalists, in performing their duties as enshrined in the constitution, are enabled to hold governments accountable to the people “for whose uplift any government exists in the first place.”
Easy as the role of Journalists in the society may be perceived in some quarters,,the practitioners say it is not a bed of roses as the practise is characterised by risk.
Some top governnent officials at the symposium.
All the same, this has not deterred them form serving as veritable source of holding government accountable to the people while ensuring that the people in return perform their civic responsibilities to the government to boost cordial relationship between the government and the governed in addition to being the mirror of the society.
These are the basic roles Journalists in Kogi State have been playing since the creation of the state on August 27,1991 spaning there military government and three civilian administrations.
Alhaji Yayaha Adoza Bello,the fourth democratically elected governor of kogi state won his first electoral victory in 2016, got re-elected for the second term and will be winding up January 2024.
At it were,the GYB administration represents different thing to different people of the state.
While this is not the focus of this piece, Alhaji Mimohjimoh Adeiza,citing people’s feeling, believes that Governor Bello has performed well.
With this mindset, Adeiza led members of the council for a symposium February 16,2023 to Edge drive hotel, Lokoja look into the seven-year governnent of Yahaya Bello government.
With the theme: A Peep into Yahaya Bello’s seven years as governor of kogi state and the implications for future administrations,” The NUJ Symposium was attended by the governor himself, most members of his cabinet and other important didnitaries such as,the President of NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo among other very important dignitaries in the society.
Opening the floodgate of comments on the state government’s efforts at fulfilling its social contract with the people, Adeiza praised the present administration in the state with specific reference to its feats and exploits in education, health and infrastructure.
Delivering the verdict of the council at the occasion, the state NUJ Chairnman said:” It gladdens my heart, that Bello’s administration, now in its seventh year,has been able to secure, bridge, plaster and paint the wall of the previous administrations while he continues to build his own wall. And he is doing it to the admiration of those who love him.”
(L-R) The President of NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo with Givernor Yahaya exchanging pleasantries at the occasion.
He added:” The pleasant stories about the developments in our state tertiary institutions are the same. The end justifies the means. In whatever way he did it,Governor Bello’s intervention has since restored a seamless, peaceful academic calendar to Prince Abubakar Audu University Anyigba.
“It is no longer four- year course for six or seven years. It is four-year course for four years for which reason students from within and outside kogi state now throng the institution to the happiness and fulfilment of their parents.
“Another reason for my verdict is the Bello’s Model Secondary School which he also built across the three Senatorial districts. Today, the schools have become a source of Joy for the people of the state. Well built, well equipped, secured and beautiful, the project is one of the good legacies of this government.”
The chairman, who also gave kudos to Bello for establishing the Confluence University of Science and Technology, CUSTECH, Osara, described the institution as “promises to be an architectural master piece of a citadel of learning.”
Other areas the NUJ Chairnman noted Governor Bello’s administration has performed creditably are in the area of health sector and infrastructure.
According to him, apart from many cottage and general hospitals,the governor also upgraded,renovated and built similar institutions across the three Senatorial districts of the state, thereby boosting public health.
The chairman, who singled out the Reference hospital, Okene among the outstanding achievements of Bello-led governnent, described the hospital as “standing like an imposing edifice that can be compared to any other special medical facility, elsewhere in the country.”
He, however, did not hesitate to stress to the governor that he has about a year to go, reminding him that a lot of achievements can still be recorded and that there are still more grounds for his administration to cover before its expiration.
Adeiza, therefore, called on politicians to eschew writing petitions to distract the attention of the governnent in achieving its aims and objectives for the wellbeing of the people.
According to him, frivolous petitions, campaign of calumny and other tactics to discredit the government is definitely not in the interest of the people who are desirous of the dividends of democracy.
The chairman concluded his assessment of the GYB administration by saying that, “it is therefore our verdict at the NUJ that, given the resources at the disposal of the state,Governor Yahaha Adoza Bello has done well.”
He urged the people of the state to support the governor to finish well and enthrone a successor that would continue in the same or even a better trajectory.
The President of NUJ said Adeiza spoke mind of the national body of the union about the performance of Governor Bello and described the governor as a”shining star” in governance and utilisation of human and material resources.
Bello, however, urged the people to make the electíon a seamless exercise in the interest of peace and development of the country.
Responding,Governor Bello commended the Journalists for organizing the event in honour of his administration but focussed more on the forthcoming general electíons in the country and called on Nigerians to peace a chance to make the all important national assignment a success.
He said:” Let me use this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians that,we should not fall to the trap of few selfish individuals who want to plung this country into chaos.
“Electíon will hold as the president has assured Nigerians, that everyone would be secured,let us ensure that what we are enjoying today may not be adequate but we should not destroy the modest achievements we have recorded under this governnent.
“We should not by our action truncate this republic, let us remain calm,the situation is just temporal,a few days to come,by the special grace of God,we are going have a new president-elected and other elective positions will be occupied and situation will stabilise.
“It is normal that when end time of an administrator is coming to an end, we will have these little skirmishes,let us not blow them out of proportion.
The governor,who commended the Journalists in the state for their support to his administration also expressed delight over the new partnership between his governnent and then which he promised, would be a continuous process till the end of his governnent.
However, others not privilege to attend the symposium have message for the governor.
More Journalists at the event.
They reminded him of the need,by his governnent, to restore portable to areas that have been experiencing scarcity of that essential commodity since October last year.
Kogi State is one of the over 20 geo-political entities in Nigeria hit by flood of monumental effects on humans and facilities in 2020.
In Lokoja, the capital, the equipment used for the supply of potable water to the public was submerged and destroyed beyond repair but the people believe that the problem can be solved before the current administration leaves office in about a year from now.
The occasion provided an ample opportunity for dignitaries at the occasion, who perhaps might not have met for quite sometime, to embrace each other, share common thoughts and ideas on how to move the state forward for the better.
Dada Ahmed publishes The Reporters,an online publication and a member,Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).