The Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has said that his job was made very easy by journalists operating in the state.
The Commissioner who stated this during a get-together with journalists on Friday at the NUJ Conference Hall said that he was delighted to see journalists in the state.
The Commissioner said: “Everyone seated in this hall is part of the team that made my job very easy in the past two years. The strength of any Commissioner for Information lies in the goodwill he has with members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm and I can say confidently that journalists in Rivers State have given me the required co-operation and support”.
The Commissioner who described himself as one of the luckiest Commissioners for Information in the country said that when he compared notes with his counterparts he knew how they felt but said he enjoyed camaraderie with journalists in Rivers State.
He said that he could not repay journalists for their support and co-operation in the last two years.
He urged journalists to see their job as God-given assignment and build a society where everyone would be safe and happy.
He also urged journalists to avoid yellow journalism.
The Commissioner thanked journalists in the state for being such wonderful allies.
He said that journalists were setting agenda for the development of the state.
The Commissioner said: “We are setting agenda for development of Rivers State. In setting that agenda there are things that we must not shy away from. The rule of thumb for all of us remains that facts are sacred, comments are free”.
He appealed to journalists in the state to protect the integrity of the profession and avoid campaign of calumny for monetary gain.
The Commissioner said that the governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, “stands tall” among governors in the country.
“What he has done beyond partisanship is for people to appreciate that a man came, took up a new vision blueprint and began steadily and progressively rewrite history and create Rivers society that every Rivers man today should be proud to say I’m a Rivers man. Everything that he has done they speak for themselves”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of RIVPA, a former Commissioner for Information and Publisher of Port-Harcourt Telegraph, Ogbonna Nwuke, said journalists were influencers, adding that media houses would continue to mould public opinion.
He described 2022 as a year of reckoning ahead of the country’s 2023 general elections and said that private media owners should help to create a positive image, adding that the media should also draw attention to issues of society.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ Caretaker Committee, Mr Amaechi Okonkwo, said that the Committee would ensure that the proposed date for NUJ Election in Rivers State would be successful and expressed pleasure over the get-together with the Commissioner.
The Caretaker Chairman appealed to the Commissioner for Information and Communications to make the get-together regular event and impress it on the governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, for such similar get-together with journalists in the state.