Access to information is a vital tool to the journalism profession. Unfortunately journalists in Gombe state have over the years been practicing in an environment that is bedeviled with the dearth of information that should have been a public right.
Ordinarily, the people in power are put in positions to serve the people, hence they should do so without making qualms in providing information to the masses they swore to serve but the situation in Gombe is the opposite.
Our Correspondent in Gombe reports that, barely 4 years since the death of Mansur Lawal, the last Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo , the governor has refuse to appoint a new media aide, and the situation is depriving reporters in the state access to objective information on vital political and economic issues, especially those that directly affects the Governor.
He said the situation is so frustrating that journalists in the state rely on anonymous sources to get information or balance there stories.
Adding that the most disturbing aspect of it all is that even the state commissioner of information and orientation, Umar Nafada, that is saddled with the responsible of relating with the media is not accessible, he doesn’t pick his calls or reply to text messages sent to him, even on sensitive issues of governance.
Other Journalists that share their experiences with our reporter also lament how they often seek information from unofficial sources, saying it is dangerous because it gives room for misrepresentation of facts, as well as publishing of wrong information.
Undoubtedly lack of adequate information a times leads to unprofessional and unethical behavior among some media practitioners, hence the need for proper relationship between the government and the media
So as government is asking media practitioners in the state to be professionals and ethical they should also see the need of appointing a spokesman to address the challenges facing reporters in the state.
LEADERSHIP gathered that since he assumed office in this dispensation, governor Dankwambo has not held any single media parley in the state. And he has also turn down series of request by both the state council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Correspondents chapel for him to grant them audience.
An insider close to the seat of power told LEADERSHIP that the governor’s refusal to appoint a media aide is a deliberate strategy to avoid Journalists and also deny them access to ask question on some critical issues going on in the state.
He also alleged that some people close to the Governor are benefiting from the development as they often budgets huge amount of money in the name of hiring consultants, who are not even base in the state, to write favourable stories about the governor on the pages newspapers.
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