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Taraba Governor Kefas, the media: An unending romance one year on

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Governor Agbu Kefas, right, with elder statesman General T.Y. Danjuma at Nwonyo Fishing Festival at Ibi recently

By Emmanuel Bello

It would soon be one year since the media lavishly covered Dr. Agbu Kefas when he was sworn in as governor of Taraba State. It was a holistic coverage spanning all news outlets. You could sense that the media was thrilled by the soldier turned civilian who became governor in his seemingly young political career. His youthful energies, soft approach, and transparency are stuff media buffs easily connect with. Earlier on, at the campaigns, he excited the media with his simplicity, earning him the sobriquet:star boy! Trust was further built when he said the Fourth Estate of the realm remains his partner.

Since then, it can safely be said that Governor Kefas has enjoyed the robust support of the media both at the local and national level. It is a relationship built on mutual trust, understanding, and camaraderie. A man of few words, he said it is up to the media to report what they see in the state. Governor Kefas believes that good works announce themselves effortlessly without the hype.

That’s why in the last one year, the governor has literally carried the media along in all he does. In one of the many parley with practitioners in the state, the governor was very direct: he needs the support of reporters not just to inform the world of the works but to also serve as a mirror for introspection. Gov Kefas believes a free press remains the cornerstone of democracy. He urged media practitioners to remain balanced, unbiased, and courageous in their reportage. He maintains that a government without media is rudderless and dangerous.

Consequently, he further noted that the press needs to be supported too to do its job. This would include encouraging a conducive working environment for practitioners and more access to government information. To this end, the governor has finalized plans to rebuild the dilapidated, almost abandoned Press Center at Jalingo. The press crew attached to Government House also got a brand new bus.

But it is in the area of more access to information, Dr. Kefas has excelled. News seekers are never denied any answers they need for their stories. Periodic media parley and direct passage to get better angles to government policies is at the heart of the Moving Forward agenda. It is indeed the golden age of the media (both the traditional and the modern) in Taraba.

As a result of these, government/media relations have tremendously improved. While the government is not seeking empty praises from the news outlets, it has been able to earn the respect and confidence of practitioners.

Bello is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Kefas

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