Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, said his administration is transparent and open to constructive criticisms.
Eno, who stated this at the maiden edition of Government House Press Briefing, noted that such a mutual relationship would go a long way towards shaping the policies and programmes of the ‘Arise Agenda’ blueprint of his administration.
Describing journalists as the hope of the masses, he implored them to churn out good reportage based on their convictions, and in line with the ethics of the profession, assuring of his readiness to work with the media to ensure that “the people are kept abreast with the workings of his administration.”
The governor said: “We must come together to build our state, rather than come out to destroy what we are trying to do.
“One of the things I have always said to my chief press secretary was, if we don’t give information to those that are supposed to help us propagate the gospel, then we can’t blame them for misinformation.
“The idea is that once in a fortnight, we meet and brief the press. It happens in the other climes. It happens in government. This is so that there is no ambiguity. You can ask questions so that you can write based on your convictions, not just writing because oh, I am working in Government House.
“A journalist should be able to hold his own and stand with his convictions. We can not do that if we don’t give you the opportunity to know what the government is doing and have you ask questions.
You are actually the hope of the masses.
“So whether you are working for government or you are on your own, there is a need for that briefing, to fill the gap, to ask questions, to be sure that we are carrying you along. We can also learn from you. I don’t mind to be criticized, but let it be constructive criticism that will be able to build”, he stated.
The Governor stated that the administration through the Ministry of Internal Security would create 5,000 jobs from its ‘Neighborhood Watch’ Poogramme which would engage people in the communities for security in their localities
On the imperative of the periodic briefing, he said that the interest of the people who he was elected to serve remains dear to his heart, and spoke of his commitment to keep to his social contract with the people for the progress and development of the State.
“In your suggestions and your criticisms, as long as you are not abusing people, it is fine. We all have homes and we know that sometimes we have some challenges in managing our homes, not to talk of managing a diverse community like what we have. Different ethnic groups, different backgrounds and different orientations. So we understand that. Sometimes it is challenging. Sometimes people just have to draw your attention to certain things.
“So that’s why I told the CPS that it would be better to have this gathering. In fact we wanted it weekly like he said but we later resolved it to be every fortnight, and I feel it’s good. I won’t come here all the time, but let him as my Chief Press Secretary to the Governor give the run down of Government activities within that two weeks and allow you ask him questions.
Governor Eno explained that the one project per local government stemmed from the needs assessment done to ascertain the need of each area, noting that he’s working to deliver on those needs in collaboration with the stakeholders.
The Governor, therefore, appealed to citizens to be patient as his administration delivers on the campaign promises, maintaining that appointments are made based on exigencies of the administration.