The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has urged journalists in the state to work to be part of Governor Nyesom Wike’s agenda to build a society where everyone will be safe and happy.
The commissioner was speaking at a dinner he held for members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Port Harcourt.
He said that the state governor has set the state on the threshold of a development agenda that catalyses progress in all facets of life.
“Governor Wike stands tall among governors in the country. He has used the ‘Nee Vision’ blueprint to progressively rewrite history that has made every Rivers citizen proud.
“Governor Wike’s legacy projects speak for themselves. As Information Commissioner, I don’t need to embark on propaganda because the facts speak for themselves.“
He charged journalists as agenda setters for the world to “always rise up against partisanship and pecuniary benefits to speak the truth at all times.”
“Journalists must not allow themselves to serve as dumpsites for unverified information that anoints those who play to the gallery as social crusaders. As preparations for 2023 general election begin, the media should not succumb to yellow journalism by promoting campaign of calumny.
“Media practitioners have a God-given assignment to promote good governance and every practitioner’s role will be judged by posterity.”
The commissioner advised journalists to adhere to the rule of thumb for media practitioners which states that facts are sacred, comments are free.
Nsirim urged journalists in the state to strive to make inputs that would speak for them as people who also contributed to the development of Rivers State during the administration of Governor Wike.
He thanked journalists in the state for the cooperation given to him since he assumed office as Commissioner for Information and urged them to always protect the integrity of the profession.
Speaking on behalf of the Rivers State Independent Publishers Association (RIVPA), the Publisher of the Port Harcourt Telegraph Newspaper, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke thanked the commissioner for recognising the role of journalists and bringing them together in such a forum.
He expressed the commitment of members of the association to the realisation of the development agenda of the state government under Governor Wike.
The chairman, Caretaker Committee of the NUJ in the state, Mr. Amaechi Okonkwo also thanked the state government for the gesture and pledged the cooperation of journalists towards building a better Rivers State.
The vice president, South-South of the NUJ, Mr. Opaka Dokubo called for unity among journalists in the state to achieve set goals and commended the state government for the gesture.