Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has acknowledged the workload and risks on journalists covering Government House and has therefore made strong case to secure insurance policy for members of his Press Corps.
He made the move at the maiden edition of
Government House Press Briefing, coordinated by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekerete Udoh in Uyo at the weekend.
The Governor who described Journalists as the hope of the masses says he is aware of the risk involved in their service to the society and, therefore expressed readiness to support them succeed.
In his words “I don’t know if you have some insurance. The work you do is very risky, you can’t be doing this without some insurance, so the CPS will work with me to ensure that. Let us work together, i am not perfect and i will never be, but i will not put my personal interest above that of Akwa Ibom people
I believe in the simple principle that if you work well, you rest well. I want you to always go home happy on weekends. I want you to be happy taking the risk, i want you to know that Government will support you. I love you, i look forward to working with you”.
Describing Journalists as the hope of the masses, he implored them to churn out good reportage based on their convictions and in line with the ethics of their profession, assuring of his readiness to work with the media to ensure that the people are kept abreast with the workings of his administration.
The Governor who had mandated the regular briefing exercise says he wants his administration to remain open to the media, even as he pledged to remain open to constructive criticism to assist him manage the state.
“We must come together to build our state, than come out to destroy what we are trying to do.
One of the things I always said to my Chief Press Secretary was, if we don’t give information to those that are supposed to help us propagate the gospel, then we can’t blame them for misinformation.
The idea is that once in a fortnight, we meet and brief the press. It happens in the other climes. It happens in Government. This is so that there is no ambiguity. You can ask questions so that you can write based on your convictions, not just writing because oh, I am working in Government House.
“A journalist should be able to hold his own stand with conviction. We cannot do that if we don’t give you the opportunity to know what Government is doing and have you ask questions. You are actually the hope of the masses.
“So whether you are working for Government or you are on your own, there is a need for that briefing, to fill the gap, to ask questions, to be sure that we are carrying you along.
“We can also learn from you. I don’t mind to be criticized, but let it be a constructive criticism that will be able to build”, he stated .
Speaking on the speculated delay in releasing appointments, the Governor says “I do not throw appointments on the street”, saying he will take his time to ensure that those appointed would add value to the progress of the state.
He however hinted that the administration through the Ministry of Internal Security will create five thousand (5000) jobs from its Neighborhood Watch Programme which would engage people in the communities across the state, for the security in their localities.