Sunday, July 11, 2021 8:18 am
By Lizzy Okoji
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has called on Nigerian journalists to set the agenda for politicians to follow to ensure that credible Nigerians devoid of any bias come into governance.
Bello made the call during the Gala Night at the end of the maiden GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents on Saturday in Abuja.
Bello urged Nigerian journalists to work in line with their mandates as the Fourth Estate of the Realm as they play a key role in setting the agenda for good governance.
He said that having a more united and secured Nigeria from 2023 and beyond lies in the hands of journalists through responsible reportage and setting the agenda for politicians seeking to serve.
Bello added that any politician seeking any position is there to serve the citizens hence, the responsibility of citizens to set the criteria and agenda for who they want and trust to serve them.
“How prepared we are for a better Nigeria depends on how we have to set the agenda for those in governance.
“Politicians seek to serve you which mean you are hiring a servant, and so, you should be able to set the criteria and tone because those who hire dictate the terms.
“Through your reportage, set the tone now, sit down, prepare your requirements and your check list.
“Make sure you choose leaders without sentiments and bias, a leader who is detribalized, without religious bias and one who will be a leader for all Nigerians.
“Whatever success we have achieved in Kogi today can be replicated in Nigeria and that depends on how journalists set the tone for politicians to follow.
“That is what happens in developed world and advanced democracies and we can also attain that in Nigeria if you set the agenda for political parties, including my own party.
“From 1960, 1999 till date, I think we should have learnt enough from our past mistakes and learn to do things differently,” Bello said.
Bello said that as a leader he would continue to serve and sacrifice for his people and the entire Nigerians in fairness, equity and justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants in the workshop were drilled with a newsroom exercise on political essay writing to further task them on accurate and responsible reportage.
A cash price of N1 million was given to the winner, N500,000 to the first runner-up, N250,000 to the second runner up.
Each of the five contestants who scored above 50 per cent, received consolation price.
Speaking to NAN, Ms Chinelo Obago, winner of the competition, expressed joy and appreciated Governor Bello for the training opportunity given to journalists.
Obago said that what she and other participants have learnt would further equip them for responsible reportage.
“The Essay Competition came as a surprise to us and there wasn’t time to really research on the topic but we did it and some of us came out victorious.
“I am really happy and I appreciate the support Governor Bello gave to this workshop to be a success.
“I am excited and this will only spur me to put in more efforts in my job,” Obago said.