Gov. Yahaya Bello (2nd R) at the 2nd Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents in Abuja.
By Angela Atabo/Lizzy Okoji
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Friday called on media practitioners to set the agenda ahead of 2023 General Elections and continue to put politicians on their toes for good leadership.
Bello made the call at the Second Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents in Abuja.
He said that the category of media practitioners were chosen to engage in the awareness campaign because no meaningful development would be made without partnering with the media.
The governor said that the nation was in a very critical period because she was at the threshold of either getting on the right track or returning back to where she was in the past.
He said that this was what necessitated the seminar to continue to educate, sensitise and evaluate the electoral environmental situation and give proper reportage.
“No government or country can succeed without the media, however good the government may be, if the media does not carry out fair and just reportage we wont make any headway.
“All we are asking is to ensure that we have a society that is free of crimes, criminality, and it is good for all Nigerians.
“So, continue to put us on our toes at all times but be fair in your reportage , we are in political season, a transition system and we crave for good leadership.
“How you set the narrative, how you set the agenda will depend on the kind of leadership you will get at the end of the day.
“I know surely that myself and several others may have thrown our hats in the ring.
“So, we need you to be fair to each and every one of us ,and to Nigerian’s to be able to select those who will lead the country after Muhammadu Buhari for another four to eight years and beyond,” he said.
Bello urged the media to report situations with wisdom and not be sensational, adding that although Nigeria was faced with some challenges, there were other countries that were facing even more challenges.
He also urged the media to curb fake news and misinformation to stall harm .
“So please, I crave your indulgence, let us continue to be patriotic, Nigeria is the only country we have with good leadership , Nigeria will be the best country .
“However, you are the ones who is going to set the tone and the agenda for us to have that kind of leadership because you are a critical stakeholder.
“We need you to partner with us in this journey ahead in order that we have the kind of leadership we deserve,’’ he said
The Commissioner for Information, Kogi , Kingsley Fanwo, in his remarks said that Bello pledged to make the event an annual one to equip media practitioners with requisite skills for national development .
Fanwo said that this year’s edition was aimed at setting the agenda for the 2023 Elections, adding that it was the responsibility of the Nigerian media to do that ahead of the elections.
“This is in terms of what will be the talking points as we approach 2023, what are the issues that are challenging our nationhood ,what are the demons we need to defeat for Nigeria to remain one even after the elections?
“These and others, shall be discussed extensively during the course of the seminar,’’ he said
The President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),Mr Chris Isiguzo, commended Bello for the initiative, adding that the annual GYB seminar for the nation’s politics and crime reporters and editors was apt.
“As we match into the 2023 Elections, two issues will occupy the frontline, politics and insecurity that is why it becomes highly imperative to gather this crop of professionals to build their capacity.
“This is because the kind of language and reports put together will substantially shape the discussions we have as we move towards 2023 .
“With this, you are eliminating poison for Nigeria’s political landscape by bringing all of us together for this two days seminar . ‘’
Also speaking, Mallam Mustapha Isa, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, thanked Bello for sustaining the seminar.
Isa said that Bello’s choice of the seminar “Setting Agenda for 2023 ‘’given the challenge the country was facing.
He said that Bello’s achievement had shown that he had what to offer, adding that “it is a season of promises ,so if you are a sitting politician and you what to rule, you have to show how you have done in your present capacity.
“So, instead of coming to promise us, we want Nigerians to know your precedents and what to offer ,and if you cannot answer these questions ,you will lose the opportunity,” he said (NAN)(nannews.ng)