GOV DICKSON ADVOCATES NATIONAL CONSENSUS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, HUNGER, ETHNICITY AND INJUSTICE
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Thursday called on Nigerians to collaborate with the Federal Government in building national consensus to fight against issues of terrorism, hunger, ethnicity and injustice to bring about the much needed change.
Governor Dickson, who made the call in Yenagoa, while declaring open the 11th All Nigerian Editors Conference, pointed out that, the restoration administration had for long been implementing institutional changes in line with democratic principles.
Speaking on the theme, “The Change We Need: Role of The Editors,” the Governor outlined a number of areas, where the state government had introduced some measures geared towards promoting good governance, citing an instance, when it created a peaceful atmosphere for the Presidential campaign of Muhammadu Buhari in Yenagoa.
According to him, opposition parties have held several rallies in the state without recording any case of violence or harassment, as it was the norm in previous elections in Bayelsa State.
Describing the theme of the conference as appropriate, especially as it was coming at a time Nigerians were getting attuned to the change mantra, the governor also urged the APC led government to meet the expectations of Nigerians to deliver on the change as promised.
Calling for support to the Muhammadu Buhari led government for the enthronement of peace and development, the Governor recalled that though, when the Peoples Democratic Party was in power, it did not enjoy adequate support from the then opposition party and cautioned the people against repeating the mistake.
His words: “For me even as a PDP governor, my position has been that, after the elections all men and women of our country must unite to move the nation forward. This is, because, the important issues that we were elected to address are not partisan, because terrorism, hunger has no partisan colour. We need to collaborate with the federal government now led by President Muhammadu Buhari on two essential fronts: to bring about the change that we need in this country and on issues of national security and law and order and we must work together as brothers fellow Nigerians to deliver our economy so that we can have a prosperous Nigeria.
“I feel that the last PDP government did not have sufficient understanding and cooperation from the then opposition party, even in the area of confronting terror. We politicize the war against terror and now we are almost making the same mistake again. With this new government on board, we must all unite to defeat terrorism, until every ward, local government, state are secure, we cannot have a secure Nigeria.”
Governor Dickson, who also drew attention to the abandoned first Oloibiri oil well, described it as a reminder of the fact that, oil and gas were depleting assets and emphasized the need to diversify the economy.
“In this state this is the headquarters of oil and gas production in the country. The story of oil and gas and all the good things has brought and all the challenges and ills it has brought in its wake. I urge you to find time to visit Oloibiri and remind ourselves again about the most important changes that all those in authority must deliver which is the diversification of our nation’s economy. Today our abandoned first oil well is a testimony to the fact that oil resources are indeed a wasting asset. That is a critical change all of us must work together to effect.”
“For me even as a PDP governor, my position has been that, after the elections all men and women of our country must unite to move the nation forward. Because the important issues that we were elected to address are not partisan because terrorism, hunger has no partisan colour we need to collaborate with the federal government now led by President Muhammadu Buhari on two essential fronts: to bring about the change that we need in this country and on issues of national security and law and order and we must work together as brothers fellow Nigerians to deliver our economy so that we can have a prosperous Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo underscored the role, the media plays in promoting development and attitudinal change in society, pointing out that, no meaningful change can take place without effective communication.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Vice President urged editors to exercise objectivity in handling informative materials that pass through them without jeopardizing national interest.
Chairman of the occasion and Chief Executive officer of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh called for closer collaboration between the media and the public.
Mr. Momoh, particularly urged editors in media organizations to develop what he describes as citizens agenda and evolve new ways of discharging their responsibilities in the face of the current financial crisis without denting the image of the profession.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Acting President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mallam Garba Deen-Muhammed, identified equality, justice and equity as guiding principles that could foster sustainable peace in Nigeria.
He said the legal framework for fighting corruption and its attendant consequences have always been in existence in the country, before the establishment the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti graft agencies, noting that what is required is the political will to enforce appropriate laws to tackle the menace.
While appreciating the Dickson led government for its development strides and particularly hosting the conference, Mallam Mohammed also lauded former president Goodluck Jonathan for the patriotic role of conceding defeat in the last elections.
According to him, “That spectacular achievement, which also recorded the first ever change of government in which an opposition political party displaced the incumbent, is only the beginning of a long walk to the dream land Nigerians had aspired to from independence in 1960 to date.”
In their goodwill messages, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Press Council, Mr. Nnamdi Njemanze and president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Waheed Odusile, emphasized the need for closer synergy among media professional organizations, with a view to setting an achievable agenda for the political class and society in general.
While assuring the NGE, of their association’s continued support, they urged media practitioners to uphold ethical values of the profession in the performance of their duties.
To ensure discipline, the NUJ President appealed to the national Assembly to enact a legislation to sanction quacks and employers, who fail to pay media workers their remunerations as and when due.