Truly free press more powerful than 3 arms of govt, says Bello -GCFRNG

Truly free press more powerful than 3 arms of govt, says Bello -GCFRNG

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi said on Friday that “a truly free and vibrant press is more powerful than the three traditional arms of government combined.”

Bello made the statement on Friday evening, at the opening session of the 29th Nigerian Media Merit Award (NMMA), at the Government House in Lokoja.

According to Bello, modern society cannot do without journalists, as they were helping to bring order in society and engender human cooperation.

“A truly free and vibrant press is more powerful than the three traditional arms of government combined.

“In fact, the world would be a gloomy and dark place without the experts who collect, curate and communicate information in a timely and responsible manner.

“In doing so, they dispel falsehood, eliminate dangerous assumptions, and provide societies with the basic premise upon which governance and other decisions can be made,” said the governor.

However, he pointed out that entire lives and societies had been ruined by the irresponsible practice of journalism by some media professionals, or charlatans who posed as them.

The governor emphasized that the use of journalists’ tools of the trade to deal with hate speech had set many on fire, ultimately consuming all political organizations and their people.

“Fake news is ubiquitous today, whether it’s rumors, dangerous innuendo, character assassinations, or other forms of inaccurate reporting.

“The problem is so endemic that in the third quarter of 2020 alone, statistics showed that there were 1.8 billion fake news interactions on Facebook alone! Nigeria, like many countries, has been the victim of it many times, sometimes with devastating loss of life or property.

“The Press is, therefore, one of the inescapable hallmarks of modern society and, in particular, the custodians of public perception. What divine responsibility!

“However, the Press is useful only to the extent that it functions within the realms of truth and veracity and in line with the demands of property. It must be regulated with the help of the Law to avoid a malfunction, ”he said.

Bello emphasized that professionals must recognize that as a result of the incredible powers that society has entrusted to them, there must be a corresponding display of responsibility, ethics and professionalism in the exercise of those powers by journalists.

He added: “Thus, there is a need for true journalists to stand up and be counted when it comes to reclaiming their profession from the charlatans and hackers, specifically the myriad of unregulated people armed with internet-enabled devices. that stalk the media space, especially social networks.

“These malicious people destroy lives and reputations by the millions simply because someone paid them, or because they have real or imagined complaints against an individual or institution. Worse still, they proceed without any concern in the world because nobody regulates them ”.

Therefore, he recommended the NMMA as the most important institution to reward merit in the way people and the media practice journalism, while providing a fundamental motivation for true journalists to do their jobs professionally.

“In this way, the NMMA will help promote sanity in the industry while serving as an accountability partner for the majority of professional journalists,” the governor said.

“In fact, we are proud to partner with you to deliver the NMMAs in this 31st year of the NMMA Trust.

“Even after now, we will pledge to help advance this laudable goal of recognizing and rewarding merit-based media practice.

“I assure you that since we took office and looking forward to 2023, we have been tasked with rediscovering and awakening that promise of a great, functional and egalitarian Nigeria.

I promise you that we will do everything possible, by the grace of Almighty God, to restore in Nigeria a vision and a path, let’s call it a ‘New Direction’, to reach its full potential, started here so many years ago.

“Lokoja in Kogi State is the safest place you can be and I urge everyone to relax and have fun without fear,” Bello said.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Frank, speaking on “Building Religious Tolerance,” praised the Governor for providing a level playing field for all religions to flourish in the state.

Frank said that the Kogi State Religious Council was proud of the governor for his spiritual and financial support to all religious bodies in the state, emphasizing that his spirit of building a proper Chapel in Government House was a resounding testimony, to despite being a Muslim.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that a special multimedia presentation labeled “Kogi State Today” was screened at the event on the administration and achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello.

The multimedia presentation showed the unprecedented achievements of the Bello administration in security, education, health, infrastructure, agriculture, empowerment of women and youth, income generation, among others.

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Truly free press more powerful than 3 arms of govt, says Bello -GCFRNG

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