Kwara Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has described media as strong instrument of change in attitude, perception and governance, saying they had moved beyond just information dissemination. He, therefore, called for strengthening of freedom of the press in the country to enable it to continue to play the reform role at all times and unhindered.
Ahmed made the call on Tuesday in Ilorin, when he received members of the International Press Institute (IPI) led by a former Director-General of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Dr Tony Iredia, visited him. He said that the media were very critical to development and should be factored into processes of governance in the country.
He advised that any government that wanted to impact on the people must allow for freedom of press. According to the governor, the moment information was not allowed to flow freely the populace will be cut-off from government. He pointed out that it would be difficult for positive changes to take place without free-flow of information.
“I feel that the role Nigeria press is playing, it requires to be strengthened as it is more needed now than ever. “Information dissemination is critical to stability and that is why anything that has to do with information dissemination must be taken seriously,” Ahmed added.
He urged the IPI members to use the instrumentality of information dissemination to ensure good governance and stability in the country. The governor also charged the media to showcase achievements in Nigeria and its people to the international community.Earlier, Iredia had said that the delegation was in Kwara to sensitise government and the people to the forthcoming conference of the Institute.
He announced that the conference would hold in June in Abuja and expressed hope that it would change the perception of foreigners about Nigeria. Iredia emphasised the importance of free press in the country and called for an attitudinal change towards the media by allowing them access to information. He also called for good remuneration for journalists, saying that would enable them to perform their duties effectively.
Iredia commended the governor for the infrastructure development in the state, especially the ongoing Diamond under-pass project at Geri-Alimi area. (NAN)