By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA–CHAIRMAN of This Day Newspapers Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, yesterday advised the returning and governors-elect to define their goals from the onset of their administration.
Obaigbena gave the advice at the induction ceremony for the re-elected governors and governors-elect organized by the Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF, at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The This Day Publisher who is also the President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), was one of the discussants on the topic “Strategic Communications” anchored by former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba.
According to him the media had remained partners in progress in Nigeria’s 20 years of unbroken democracy, adding that with common access to the media as a result of technological advancement, the media’s landscape had been altered.
He said that governors must define their goals and have vision for each ministry under their administrations adding that they must make transparency and accountability their watchword.
Besides, he advised the governors to learn how to communicate by regularly briefing the media on their activities, pointing out that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the press to hold public officers accountable.
He said, “As we celebrate 20 years of democracy in Nigeria, the press remains a partner in progress. The world of media is changing because every citizen has access to media. Technology has changed media’s landscape.
“The purpose of this session is to discuss things you must do as governor. First, you must define your vision. What is your vision or mission for each ministry? Every ministry must have vision. Your primary responsibility is to provide security.
“Next is transparency and accountability, ensuring that resources of the state are well managed.
“Of course, you must communicate. Briefings everyday, briefings every week are not out of place. If journalists report false reports, you must fight back. The constitution gives the press the power to hold governors to account. When there is disaster, stay ahead of news. Define your purpose. Set agenda. Think.”
Also contributing, former Managing Director of Daily Times, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, advised the governors to set agenda, uphold such agenda, keep advice and be accessible.
He said, “Set your agenda. Keep agenda. Keep advice. Make yourself accessible as much as possible. Sometimes it is difficult to reach out to governors, commissioners. You need the media, cultivate them.
“No amount of media coverage is as good as good governance. The most effective weapon of succeeding is good governance.”
In his own submission, a Commissioner with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Sunday Dare, who spoke on the impact of the social media, explained that social media were the offshoot of digital media, advising the governors to pay diligent attention to social media.
He advised them to clean up fake Facebook accounts opened in their names and likewise set goals and engage competent journalists when need be.
He said, “Digital media gave birth to social media. Pay attention to social media. There are no gatekeepers any longer. There are no editors on social media. Clean up multiple Facebook accounts.
” Let there be situational government, goal setting and communication competence. Sit down with competent journalists and bring them together going forward.”