By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
It has been said that adequate information dissemination by responsible journalism is a guarantee to security of lives and properties of the citizenry especially in the period of security challenges facing the country.
The observation was made by the Bauchi State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Garba Dahiru while declaring open, the 2021 Correspondents’ Week at the NUJ secretariat Bauchi.
He noted that the week is an annual event to mark the relevance and contribution of Journalists to the socio-economic and political development of the state and the Nation in general.
According him, media has over the years played very important role in the society by projecting and promoting laudable policies and programs of the government that has direct bearing on the lives of the citizens.
According to him, as the forth estate of the realm, journalists are squarely placed at the vintage position that provides selfless services to people at all times.
The Commissioner who said that State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir is working tirelessly to transform Bauchi state to its better position, noted that he has revitalised the health sector by declaring a state of emergency which is currently yielding positive results.
Other interventions by the present administration, the commissioner said include, infrastructural development, Agriculture, provision of water, education, women and youth empowerment, amongst others.
The Commissioner who apart from reeling out the visible projects carried out by the Governor, added that Senator Bala has helped up-lift journalism profession in Bauchi state.
He said that the problem that is bedeviling the two media houses owned by the state government will soon be over as the planned digitalization of BATV and BRC has been captured in the 2021 budget.
The commissioner who appreciated the cordial relationship between the press and the government, called on the participants to pay special attention during the workshop in order to acquire additional knowledge that will enhance their professional skills and practice for the benefit of the society.
Earlier speaking, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Alhaji Ahmad Mohammed while thanking the commissioner, other dignitaries for gracing the event, called for a one minute silence in honor of late Ali Garba, one of the Chapel member who died last December.
He said that the Week with theme: ‘Role of Journalists in Promoting Peace, Security and Unity will enable his members interact with stakeholders especially newsmakers, readers and listeners to enable them serve the society better.
The Chairman further said that the week will also help his members appreciate some partners in progress who have excelled in their various fields of endeavors, thereby impacting positively in the society.
He said that during the weeklong event,members of the Chapel are also going to be trained on how best to practice their constitutional role for the development of Bauchi state in particular and the country as a whole.
He said “we all know that information is a powerful weapon in every society. The saying that Pen is Mightier than the Sword is not lost on us”.
He assured that “as journalists in the state, we will continue to use our pen or keypads, as it is applicable these days to contribute positively towards the development of our state and the Nation”.
Alhaji Ahmad who said his members will eschew anything that will destroy Bauchi state, appealed to them to be cautious in their reportage, adding that one wrongly – worded headline can spark a fire which may burn down the entire nation or cause irreplaceable damages to the society.
He said journalists as watchdogs, owe the society a duty to inform them of happenings accurately by checking facts before going to press.
According to him, in doing so, they must discharge their duties with every sense of responsibility and abide by the rules.
Ahmad while appealing to governments at all levels to address the basic needs of the common man, said “Nigerians have eyes and ears and they all know and feel that people in almost every part of the country are hungry and angry”.
The Chapel Chairman who observed that there is poverty, unemployment, insecurity and injustice in virtually all sectors of the country, reminded politicians of the need to fulfill the promises they made on those issues during their electioneering campaigns.