Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has decried accusations levelled on President Goodluck Jonathan of being partisan in the issue of the Delta Gas City project, Ogidigben, saying, the President means well for Nigerians.
He also, strongly condemned the recent kidnap of fourteen journalists in some parts of Delta State, stating that the President was worried as a result of the incident and has charged security operatives to unravel what happened.
Dr Uduaghan who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Press Week of the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, at Asaba, emphasized that the Gas City Project was sited in Delta State despite several interests because of the love President Jonathan has for the state.
“I find it very unfortunate and objectionable that the President was being accused of partisanship and have been asked to resign. If the President has no love for Delta State, he would not have visited Delta State at least twice this year to inaugurate two projects in that part of the state. It shows he loves Delta State,” he said.
According to him, the project was originally billed for Koko but had to be relocated to the present site at Ogidigben because of the shallow nature of the waters at the initial location, noting that if Mr. President had ulterior motive he could have taken it to another state.
“This is a $16 billion project which was approved by Mr. President to be located in Delta State, the initial place the project was to be located was Koko but, because of the need for a deep sea port, it was relocated to Ogidigben.
“Let us join hands together peacefully to ensure that the project takes off as everybody will benefit from it irrespective of tribe, I want to appeal to everybody to put aside our differences and ensure that the project takes off as investors are waiting, let us not use our hands to drive away investors,” the Governor said.
“I think I owe it a duty and a responsibility as the chief executive of Delta State to apologize to all journalists in Nigeria for the very ugly incident that happened in this state in the last two days in which 14 journalists were unfortunately held hostage.
I say the act itself is unfortunate, it is condemnable”, adding that Mr. President has directed thorough investigation into the incident and that anyone found culpable would be handled by security agencies.
He commended the Delta State Council of NUJ for being peaceful and challenged journalists to be objective in reporting the forthcoming 2015 elections.
“As journalists, you have specific roles to play to ensure that all is well with the country, you have enormous powers as one word or one write-up can change the history of the world, nation and election. Remember the saying: the pen is mightier than the sword. I appeal to all of you to abide by the tenets of your profession, verify that your story is true before you disseminate information.”
Dr Uduaghan assured Journalists in Delta State that his administration would build and complete a befitting secretariat for the Delta State Council of the NUJ.
In a lecture on “Reporting The 2015 General Elections,” the President, Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the success of the 2015 general elections depended on the media, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies.
“The media should beam its spotlight on all involved in politics and ensure that the game is played according to the rules in an impartial and objective manner,” he said.
He condemned irresponsible reporting especially in the social media who do not subscribe to ethics of journalism.
The National President of NUJ, Alhaji Mohammed Garba who was represented by the Deputy National President, Comrade Rotimi Obamuwagun, the Commissioner of Information in the state, Barr. Chike Ogeah and the State Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Norbert Chiazor in their separate remarks commended Governor Uduaghan for being media friendly and supporting the cause of journalists.
Special Guests at the occasion include the Delta State SSG, Comrade Ovuozuorie Macaulay and the newly appointed Chief of Staff, Government House, ChiefPaulinus Akpeki (Ugo).
Highlight of the event was the presentation of the NUJ Distinguished awards of Excellence to the Delta State Commissioners for Information, Barr. Chike Ogeah; Transport, Hon. Benson Igbakpa; Finance, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara; DESOPADEC Commissioners, Kenneth Okolugbo (Ndokwa Ethnic Nationality) and Chief Christopher Obiuwebi aka Ominimini (Urhobo Ethnic Nationality) amongst others.
Below are more photos of the NUJ Event.