The Commissioner for Information in Delta, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, on Tuesday, said Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa remained resolute in his quest to build a stronger and united Delta in spite of challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aniagwu disclosed this in Asaba when he visited the Delta chapter of Association of Community Newspaper Publishers of Nigeria (ACNPN) and Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF).
According to him, a better, stronger, and smarter Delta will benefit all the people of the state and that is what Okowa’s administration is determined to give to citizens.
He stated that the government had taken steps to develop the state in the last five years, adding that a lot of the electoral promises by the governor had been achieved.
“We can beat our chest that we have surpassed very many of the promises we made during the electioneering.
“We have a covenant with the people of Delta to create jobs, build infrastructure, and make life meaningful for our people. We have so far constructed over 400 roads spanning 1,300 kilometers, with line drainages among other infrastructure.
“In the days ahead we are counting on the same support, if not more because your report has so far culminated in the rating of Delta as second in terms of standard of living in the country.
“We plead with you to continue to assist us in the sensitisation of our people,’’ the commissioner said.
On COVID-19, he said that there was the need for all hands to be on deck to “flatten the curve’’.
According to him, we need to flatten the curve so that we can go back to our normal life; but the more we are able to observe the existing protocols, the better we are able to exit the pandemic on time.
“For us to return to our normal life, we need your assistance to enlighten the people because this scourge is real. We will remain focused and not be distracted by any criticisms.
“As of today, our total confirmed cases standing at 88; 17 patients have so far been discharged and unfortunately, we lost eight persons to the pandemic due to underlying ailments.
“We had a situation yesterday where somebody who was being treated left the facility in controversial circumstances.
“We have put in place machinery to bring him back and we have told the general public and all those who know him to stay clear from him because he actually tested positive,” he stated.
Aniagwu, who was in company with the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, thanked the publishers for their reports and urged them to always cross-check unverified reports, particularly in the social media, to avoid sensationalism and falsehood.
“I thank you for the wonderful work you have been doing by reporting the activities of government at all times.
“It is not by accident that the journalism profession was termed the fourth estate of the realm, because of the role it plays in the development of every nation.
“As key stakeholders, I commend you for your developmental publications, which have showcased the numerous activities of the state government.
“Okowa runs a very transparent government and will always welcome constructive criticisms from any quarters,” he added.
In their separate remarks, ACNPN Chairman, Comrade Jude Obiemenyego, welcomed the commissioner and his entourage and assured that the publishers would remain committed to the development of the state.
He said the group had resolved to ensure that only well-verified reports were published by members of the association.
He urged his colleagues to always seek clarification before making any publication to ensure balanced reports, adding that the group worked hard to publicise activities of government, including COVID-19 pandemic.
On his part, DOPF Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Enebeli, appealed for government patronage to the group to keep members afloat.