From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications Paulnus Nsirim has said that the state has become a major player in national politics because of the vision and ingenuity of Governor Nyesom Wike and his rapid infrastructural development of the state.
Nsirim noted that the state has recorded giant strides under the leadership of Governor Wike and charged the media in the state to shift its focus from the urban to the numerous rural developmental projects executed by the Wike administration.
The commissioner stressed that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic recession, Governor Wike has been on the driver’s seat pursuing his developmental agenda.
‘That is the kind of Governor we have in the state,’ the commissioner stated.
Mr Nsirim, who spoke to reporters in Port Harcourt, said contrary to the impression being created, Governor Wike has evenly spread developmental projects across all the local government areas of the state.
On how the governor has been able to achieve results, Nsirim said: ‘His Excellency has put God first and he has a passion to develop Rivers State. He is selflessly committed to making Rivers State investors’ destination of choice and of course, he is a prudent manager of resources.’
He said critics of the governor Wike’s administration resort to accusing him of concentrating development in Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor, adding that the government under Wike has spread developmental projects to all the local government areas of the state.
He encouraged the media to find time to go across the state to ascertain the achievements of the governor.
‘I don’t know how many journalists know about the Saakpenwa-Ogoni road, the Abonnema ring road, Abalama reclamation project and the cassava processing company.
‘I don’t know how many journalists have been to Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local Government areas, the stretch of Andoni-Opobo Unity road to see the amount of money that is being sunk there by this administration. Opobo people drove home in there vehicles for the first time in the history of the kingdom under Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. And that is because there is a Governor who is committed to ensure that development is spread throughout the length and breathe of the state,’ he stated.
The commissioner urged the media to guard against the practice of armchair journalism, adding that the state government is open to welcome any constructive criticism that will contribute to the developmental efforts of the administration.
‘I have said to journalists that it is only a bad leader that will not want constructive criticism. But, we shouldn’t promote armchair criticism. The media must not allow itself to be a dumping site for armchair criticism. But, you see, that is what we find most of the time. A lot of people are just there to pull him down. They don’t see anything good. It shouldn’t be so.’
He challenged the media practitioners to always uphold the tenets of objectivity and fairness in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities to society.
‘It is important that now that we have so many people straying into the profession, the legacy we leave behind determines the sustenance of the tenets of the profession. You cannot afford to leave behind a situation where professionalism is thrown to the dogs,’ he said.
Nsirim commended the media in the state for the cooperation given to the Governor Wike’s administration in the execution of its New Rivers Vision agenda.
He appealed to journalists in the state to continue to partner with Governor Wike who is determined to bequeath a worthy legacy for posterity.
‘When the history will be written, you will be proud to be part of the success story,’ he told them.
He conveyed the felicitation of Govenror Wike to the media practitioners and urged more cooperation with his ministry and the government in its determination to develop the State in the remaining years.
In his remark, Mr Amaechi Okonkwo, the Chairman of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Rivers State Chapter, lauded Nsirim for boosting a cordial relationship between Governor Wike’s administration and the media.
He described the commissioner as an astute administrator and seasoned media professional whose goodwill has secured a friendly relationship with the media, urging that relationship would improve even better.