By Tijjani Ahmed://
The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu says his administration would run an open door policy to media practitioners and ready to respond to inquiries on issues of governance .
Bagudu made the statement while declaring open a two- day training workshop on etiquette of new media practice for Social Media Practitioners in Kebbi State on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi .
The governor made it clear that in line with its open door policy and transparency in governance, the media can interrogate the administration and ask meaningful questions but not respond to opinions.
“This Government is ready to answer questions from the media or any person.
“Journalists are free to visit any ministry and interrogate the activities of Government , Government is ready to offer relevant Information ‘, he averred.
The Governor described Social Media practitioners as agents of development and made a passionate call on both journalists and the Social Media members to put hands on deck in reporting objectively the developmental strides of the present administration towards solving the myriads of problems bedevilling the state and the nation at large.
The Progressives Governors’Forum Chairman , Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu also urged the new media practitioners to help security agencies by reporting hideouts and suspicious movement of criminal elements in order to strengthen the peace and security in the state.
He said,” The new media is part of the instruments that shape the perception of people in the society, hence the training of the practitioners to unite people at the expense of destroying them via fake news and divisive postings.
“The new media, when used professionally, can aid our security agencies in exposing the hideouts of the criminals and their activities in our society.”
Bagudu, represented by Babale Umar Yauri, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, called for more concerted efforts by the practitioners and all stakeholders to address challenges of security and national unity facing the country.
The governor lamented that the country was faced with security, economic and political challenges.
“Of more serious concern is the challenge to security and national unity.
“This calls for more concerted efforts by the media practitioners and all stakeholders to address the challenges,” he said.
Earlier, the state Commissioner of Information and Culture, Hajiya Rakiya Tanko-Ayuba, said that the training was timely as the nation is approaching electioneering period.
“You will all benefit from the technicalities, do’s and don’ts of social media usage.
“This will further equip you to be able to practice safely and without bias,” he said.
According to her , the issues of training and retraining must have to be considered in order to enable the practitioners play their role appropriately without conflicting interest.
She lamented that the country was going through challenges, adding that ,” we must use the social media to unite our people rather than divide them, we must be seen to be bridge- builders rather than promoters of hatred.”
Tanko-Ayuba, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Garba Hamisu-Zuru, explained that the training for the practitioners, which was the third in series, indicated the seriousness of the government in promoting the ethics of Journalism.
“It could be recalled that in July, 2020 and April, 2021, training for New Media practitioners including those from the 21 local government areas were conducted.
“Social Media has become an important role in educating, informing and entertaining the society, this makes it imperative for the state to make use of practitioners in the dissemination and propagation of information in a decent and responsible manner on the state development and progress.
“This is what informed the state government to again sponsor this training with the view to inculcating professionalism into the work and practice of our brothers and sisters in the social media,” he said.
The commissioner also commended the efforts of the governor for his untiring efforts in building the capacity of those who highlighted, informed and educated the public through the social media.
In his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Alhaji Aliyu Bandado- Argungu, said that the aim of the training was to further equip social media practitioners with requisite knowledge to enhance their chosen vocation.
He said that the new media had become a force to be reckoned with, adding that it became an indispensable information dissemination channel in the state.
He urged the practitioners to verify their information before going public and attribute the source of information when it was not primary.
“Don’t be masters of all, liaise with the professionals , and don’t allow your selves to be used in settling vendetta.
” You should also keep updating your knowledge to be in tune with modernity, and be ambassadors of peace and progress, ” he urged.
Bandado- Argungu thanked the governor for his support in hosting the training, saying the trainining would update the practitioners and make them more productive.
Highlights of the program was presentation of papers titled ‘ Impact of Social Media on Journalism practice in Nigeria and the Role of Social Media in Political Communication among others by Dr. Musa Abubakar Mijinyawa, Senior Lecturer Department of Mass Communication, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Culture, Kebbi State Alhaji Garba Hamisu Zuru.