By Helen Ugo Chimezie
The Executive Chairman, Obio-Apor Local Government Area in Rivers State, Barr George Ariolu, has called on journalists to focus more on development journalism for the overall development of the state and nation at large.
He made this call on Friday during a courtesy visit of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter to his office at the LGA secretariat.
The LGA boss expressed dismay over the negative understanding of the public towards politicians, which he attributed to the information the public is inundated with on a regular basis via the media.
He stated: “It is not helping us on the issue of nation building. Nobody will be in a particular political position forever, as it is tenured. And we are all partners in progress in the development of this nation.
“Whether we like it or not, there are people who do not have any other means of knowing what happens in the society than through the radio, television, reading through the newspaper and of late, social media.”
He, therefore, urged the media to refocus and be professional in performing their role, bearing in mind that we are all partners in nation-building.
Barr Ariolu further lauded his administration’s achievements in just two years in office, reiterating his commitment to serving the people of Obio-Akpor.
According to him: “We want to be very emphatic about it, that we did all of these within the space of two years. And also instructive is the fact that in all we have done, which involves huge funds, we have not borrowed from any bank, individual, or organization. It is our ability to prudently manage the federal allocation and what we are able to gather by way of our internally generated revenue.”
On her part, the NAWOJ chairperson, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana said the association has come to identify with the LGA chairman, having closely monitored his activities such as the completion of 30-room offices (all ensuite), which is now Nyesom Wike Admin Block, also the Obio-Akpor skills acquisition programme where over 200 people are being trained in scaffolding, crane operations, excavator and forklift operations.
She commended the LGA boss for his developmental strides in improving the well-being of indigenes and non-indigenes in the area, while stating that NAWOJ wants to join efforts with him in building the capacity of young girls in the LGA, especially those who have dropped out of school through her advocacy programmes.
She further appealed that the LGA boss extends his kind gesture to the association, to enable for the actualization of set goals and objectives in building the capacity of the downtrodden women and girls in Rivers State.
She disclosed that: “Over the years, NAWOJ has been supporting the girl child in the rural areas as part of her yearly activity to mark International Girl Child Day. This year NAWOJ is targeting one of the Girl’s Secondary Schools in Obio Akpor to Mark the International Day of the Girl Child, which entails getting these students school bags, pens, hygienic sanitary pads, exercise books, among others.”