Gov. Bello urges social media influencers to always confirm information before broadcast
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has urged social media users and influencers across the country to always cross check and confirm any information available to them before broadcasting.
The governor also called on the influencers to
to use the new media as tools to promote peace, unity and development for the betterment of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion, political affiliations or differences.
Gov. Bello gave the advice at Kogi State Social Media Summit with the theme: “Improving Government Policies Through Social Media Advocacy”.
The summit was organised by the state government to intimate social media influencers with the activities and enormous achievements of Kogi State Government.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Elder Simon Achuba, welcomed all the participants to Kogi state, and enjoined them to always do media businesses inline with the ethics of their profession for the good of the society.
He reiterated that the social media influencers and journalists should ensure that any information at their disposal was well managed, saying the peace of any nation lies in the peace of another nation
He commended the media experts for their contributions to the development of the society, urging them to maintain the tempo for the good of the people.
“We attached much importance to social media to promote the activities of the New Direction Government; I believe we have been able to change your wrong perceptions about Kogi state.
“We have opened our doors to everyone to asked us questions, we need your contributions as individual and as a group because our views cannot be the same at all times.
“We are not asking you to do cover up for us, but we are imploring you to report directly and accurately what you see.
“That is why we have invited you to Kogi and took you round all the three senatorial districts to see the projects we have done and those that are still ongoing,” Bello said.
The governor further emphasized on the state government readiness to partner with the various media platforms, stressing that the doors of his administration are widely opened to all.
According to the Governor, the business of building a new Kogi state is a collective responsibilities of everyone.
Earlier in her remarks, the Secretary to Kogi State Government (SSG), Mrs Ayoade Folashade Arike, said the summit was necessary to clear the air on some negative impressions about the administration.
The SSG described the social media as a tool that could be used for social development, stressing that it has a tremendous power as far as information was concerned, and as such, deserved proper and adequate attention.
According to her, the New Direction Administration of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, recognises this power and wishes to explore its usefulness in projecting the good image and the enormous developmental strides of this administration, rather than allowing the masses to be misinformed.
She, therefore, encouraged all the participants to make good use of the interactive session to ask questions in order for them to get insight into the achievements of the Gov Bello led alAdministration.
She added that the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has touched the lives of the people positively, reiterating that the administration was determined and committed to change the state for good.
On his part, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Edward Onoja, explained the laudable achievements of the new direction administration in the state in the areas of health, education, road constructions, and other infrastructural developments.
Onoja gave explicit explanation on what the state government was doing and her commitment to building a formidable civil service in the state.
He, however, called on all social media users and influencers to always let their reportage on social media and other platforms reflect the truth in terms of facts and figures.
Earlier, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Director General on Media and Publicity, apologised on behalf of the government on the alleged assault on a journalist by security personnel attached to the Government House.
He said that the governor had set up a panel to investigate the allegations to get to the root causes of such action and promised that the government would deal with any perpetrator found wanting.
Fanwo urged the participants to feel free to ask any question that might have been bothering their minds regarding the activities of the government, saying all responsible questions would be satisfactorily answered.
He, however, implored the media not to be biased in their reportage.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mrs Petra Onyegbule, told newsmen that the state needed to have this kind of summit for participants to know the facts about the activities of Kogi Government because ‘facts are sacred’.
She added that the social media summit was an interactions between the state government, online journalists and social media influencers organised to bring governance closer to the people to break the barier that the negative perceptions had built about the state.
“We have said ‘come and see for yourself’ without being influenced or induced, come and take the position of what is actually on ground to see the ongoing developmental strides of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
“It is an interactive session to bridge the gap that exist between misinformation out there and mischievous people who have set out negative narrative and the reality on ground which is the truth.
“We have done this because we recognise the important role the social media is playing especially among the most active demographic of people who actually use it which are the youths”, she said.
Mr Joel Odaudu, the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on New Media, noted that the media influencers were on Wednesday dispatched to the three senatorial districts of the state for assessment tour to see government achievements in terms of infrastructural development.
He appreciated the governor for given the approval for the summit, and commended the participants for honoring the invitations from all over the country.
Various media experts and speakers at the event were satisfied with the responses of the government on the issues raised on payment of salaries to workers and other developmental projects in the state.
One of the Guest Speakers, Mr Ayobami Oyalowo, reiterated the importance of social media in the development of any nation, saying government should give priority to social media in information dissemination.
Oyalowo noted that Nigeria was ranked in the 9th postion among the highest Facebook users in the world with China, USA and India ranked the 1st, 2nd and 3rd postions respectively.
He urge the government of Kogi to key into the new generation system of timely dissemination of information, stressing that destinies could be made or destroyed through the social media.
On day one of the summit on Wednesday, the social media influencers and online media journalists were divided into three groups where each group traveled to each senatorial zone of the state for assessment tour on all government projects across the state.
The Kogi west group visited the hundreds of hectares of rice farm at Omi Dam which would be ready for harvest very soon.