Chief Press Secretary to Delta State Governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu has described Journalists as vital for the deepening of the nation’s democracy, even as he pledged to continue to explore more ways of consolidating the cordial relationship which already exists between the Delta State Government and the Journalism constituency in the state.
Mr. Aniagwu stated this on Tuesday (12/04/2016) when he met with members of the Indigenous Newspapers and Magazines (INMC) Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, in Asaba.
According to him, Journalists by the traditional role they play, ensure that those in authority engage in actions that are beneficial to the electorate, stating that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration will accord members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm a central position in facilitating the delivery of the administration’s SMART agenda.
Aniagwu, who expressed Governor Okowa’s determination to partner with media practitioners, especially indigenous newspapers, towards promoting even development across the state, equally charged journalists to comport themselves with decorum, rrsponsibility, maturity and a sense social relevance, in relation to the other professionals in the country.
While noting the dwindling financial resources which had affected all sectors of the nation’s economy and the monumental depletion of the funds accruable to the state from the national coffers, Aniagwu however used the opportunity to highlight the fact that Governor Okowa has embarked on massive projects designed to make Deltans self sufficient, since his assumption of office on May 29, 2015.
Making particular reference to sectoral development projects, the Chief Press Secretary affirmed that in the area of education, all existing Technical Colleges in the state were in different stages of rehabilitation, adding that while the technical colleges at Ofagbe, Sapele and Agbor have been totally overhauled, those in Ogor, Isele-Uku and Kwale have been captured in the 2016 budget and will be executed this year, in line with the Okowa administration’s agenda of upgrading the colleges to serve as centres to equip the youths with necessary life sustaining, as well as successful capacity development skills.
In the area of infrastructural development, Mr. Aniagwu disclosed that the Okowa administration had also completed a number of roads across the three senatorial districts in the state, including the Ibrahim Kefas Road and drainage, with an expansion to old Oleh/Emede as well as to Uzere Junction, in the Isoko axis, the Captain White road Agbor, Palace Road at Owa Oyibu and Ozanogogo road, in Ika axis, the Christ Embassy Road Asaba, as well as the Jeddo, Egbokodo, Omadino road, Oteri Township road, in Delta Central, among numerous others.
These projects, according to the CPS, were aside from the different empowerment programmes, particularly in the job creation, skills acquisition and production support initiatives for farmers and other small businesses, which a lot of Deltans, especially the youths, have benefitted from.
Mr Aniagwu further noted that Governor Okowa places high premium on the Indigenous Chapel hence he appointed a Special Assistant on Community Newspapers to handle issues relating to them and while commending the Indigenous Chapel for reaching out to people at the grassroots, used the occasion to equally express his appreciation to the Chairman, Delta State Council of the NUJ Comrade Norbert Chiazor and the National Vice President, South/South, Comrade Edward Akpati Ogude, for their support and warm fellowship.
He then charged members of the union to be objective in their reportage, admonishing them against sensational journalism and assuring that every member of the Okowa media were at the disposal of all Journalists in the event of any clarifications or complaints that may arise.
“This administration will always be press friendly, because the press has a lot of roles to play in a democratic setting, but, my dear colleagues, while you engage in constructive criticism of government, know that there is an open-door policy whereby you can verify your facts and balance your reports before publishing,” he emphasized.
The Governor’s image maker used the occasion to assure members of the chapel and all journalists of progressive partnership and while urging members of the Chapel to be creative in their writings, promised them that Governor Okowa’s administration would not gag Journalists.
He then announced that his office will assist the Indigenous Chapel to secure an apartment for their secretariat, while efforts at addressing other welfare issues like training programmes for journalists as well as regular interactive sessions with Governor Okowa, amongst others, will continue to be explored
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Chapel, Mr Spence Idhigiri commended the Chief Press Secretary for the meeting which he described as novel in the history of NUJ in the state, stating that journalists will always carry out their functions without bias.
The State Chairman of the Delta State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Norbert Chiazor as well as the South/South Chairman of the Union, Comrade Edward Akpati Ogude, as well as senior members of the chapel, including Chief Gabriel Awodegha, Comrade December Gboru, former Chairman of the NUJ, Delta State Council, Comrade Ben Ogbogo, as well as former Chairman of INMC, Comrade David Diai, all witnessed the event.
The Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Delta Sate Government, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, was accompanied on the visit by some members of Governor Okowa’s Media team, including Prince Victor Efeizomor, Mr. Jonathan Onwuka, Mr. Amaechi Udemba, Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, Miss Ufuoma Weyinmi Onovughakpor, as well as Comrade Nelson Egware.