• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Journalists are instrumental to deepening democracy- Shaibu

Journalists are instrumental to deepening democracy- Shaibu

Philip Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo State, on Monday said that journalists play an integral part in keeping elected officials on their toes and in sustaining the democracy of a nation.

To recognize the role of journalists and boost their morale to function as the watchdog of the society, Shaibu disclosed plans to award journalists in the state with N500,000 prize gifts for different categories namely Best Journalist of the Year, Best Reporter of the Year and Best Investigative Journalist of the Year.

The deputy governor, while speaking at an annual meeting with newsmen in Benin City, said a committee would be constituted to select awardees, noting that media practitioners are not enemies of the government and their efforts are important to the development of the state.

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“Journalists should see us as partners in progress. Media houses are not anti-democracy, we must collaborate for the betterment of the society. When we are at each other’s neck, there will not be time to think of what will benefit our people.

“We must support you so you can function better. We are not in the business of hide and seek but knowing what the people want and ensuring the dividends are delivered,” Shaibu said.

On the state’s preparedness to steer it forward in the coming year, he said with a proposed budget of N214.2bn for the 2021 fiscal year, the present administration would ensure Edo people enjoy the dividends of democracy.

Festus Alenkhe, the newly elected chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State council, earlier said his executive members are ready to partner with the state government to improve the welfare of journalists.

He appealed to the Obaseki-led administration to connect the NUJ secretariat to the Ossiomo Power Plant that will supply 24hours electricity to journalists so as to enhance their productivity.