Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
John Okiyi Kalu, Commissioner of Information.
Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu has said that journalists are more believable than governments the world over, adding that they have powers to either make or mar individuals, groups or organiSation.
Kalu stated this in his opening remarks at a one-day seminar on social media reporting organiSed by the ministry for the Correspondents’ Chapel of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in the capital, Umuahia.
He said both outsiders and potential investors depend on their reports to either visit or invest in an area, because ” no such persons will want to move to or invest in places where there are uncertainties.”
Kalu noted that the present administration in the state was in dire need of their cooperation and support to move it forward especially in view of the numerous developmental programmes and projects it had embarked on.
According to him, until they were able to partner with the administration to project the state and its great potentials, no progressive investor would feel safe to come to invest in the state no matter how persuaded.
“In writing reports about the administration’s achievements so far, you are not compelled to either mention the name of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu or use his picture if you do not like them, but we will still appreciate your effort” he added.
Welcoming criticism from the opposition “if only there are constructive and factual”, he appealed to the journalists to always endeavour to hear the administration’s side of a story to balance and authenticate them.
He announced that as part of its efforts to open its doors to them, arrangements had been completed to take them on a project-tour of both ongoing and completed projects by the administration to keep them abreast with its achievements.
In their presentations, the resource persons, Kelechi Eme, a social media expert and Emenike Iroha of Abia Facts, argued that the importance of the social media to the society cannot be emphasised.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the chapel, Emmanuel Ugwu, described the seminar as an eye opener to the members, saying its outcome would go a long way to equip them for the challenges of the social media.