The Ebonyi Government on Friday donated laptops to 10 selected journalists in the state for objective reportage of events and effective information dissemination.
Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, the state Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, made the donations in Abakaliki on Friday.
The commissioner said the gesture which was at the instance of Gov Dave Umahi, was to assist journalists enhance their professionalism and discharge their duties effectively.
“What we are doing is to give you the tools, just use it at your best because nobody is buying you over from doing your jobs.
“Even if there are opposition journalists here, I will be glad to give them the laptops because we believe that the tool will assist in plying your trade objectively.
“Anybody who disagrees with our policies should present himself to a debate and we will argue the issue objectively,” he said.
The commissioner noted that the state’s infrastructural transformation since inception of Umahi’s administration, had already won such debate in favour of the government.
“It is clear that Ebonyi has taken giant leaps from what it was three and half years ago, it is not in contention and anyone doubting it is simply ignorant.
“We are always ready for such debates on print and broadcast media where Ebonyi people will be the judges and not through sewages of Facebook and other social media outlets,” he said.
He reminded journalists of their constitutional right of association which empowered them to identify with political parties of their choices whether ideologically and otherwise.
“This right of association is, however, not in the open due to your profession’s ethical requirements but you should portray the strides of performing governments.
“I will welcome a day when candidates of political parties will appear before journalists and reel their achievements for the people to judge,” he said.
Onwe expressed dismay over the alleged threat by the opposition to ‘rip-off’ the governor’s strides in infrastructure, human empowerment, agricultural incentives among others, if it won the elections.
“I am baffled whenever I hear all these because Ebonyi is in dire need of development and Gov Umahi has made its official sobriquet of salt of the nation, palatable.
“Ebonyi is presently recognised nationally and globally but the opposition should realise that the governorship of a state will not be achieved through snide remarks and childish commentaries,” he said.
Mr Emnuael Amiara, one of the benefiting journalists, thanked the governor for the gesture and pledged to judiciously utilise the communication tool.
“Objectivity remains the cardinal requirement of journalism and journalists should operate with this principle for effective information dissemination,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the commissioner had also at the governor’s instance, recently donated General Service Mobile (GSM) phones to some newsmen in the state. (NAN)