Kebbi journalists reject selection of 3 members to cover Gov. Idris’ activities

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From El-Yakub Dabai, Birnin Kebbi

The Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of  Journalists (NUJ), Kebbi Council, has rejected the selection of three of its members solely to be covering activities of Gov. Nasir Idris in Government House, Birnin Kebbi.

The rejection was sequel to a meeting held in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday between the Acting Permanent Secretary, Government House, Alhaji Ibrahim Saraki; Acting Permanent Secretary, Protocol, Alhaji Sagir Mahe, and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Malam Yahaya Sarki.

Others at the meeting were, Alhaji Aliyu Bandado, the Special Adviser to Gov. Idris on New Media and Master of Ceremony to the governor, Alhaji Faruk Bello-Birnin Kebbi.

In their meeting, they resolved that the governor had directed that he did not want to see more than three members of the correspondents chapel to cover his activities. 

In his reaction to the development, the Chairman of the chapel, Alhaji El-Yakubu Usman-Dabai, described the development as ‘counterproductive’ to the promotion of Kebbi government’s activities and to the journalism profession. 

“A situation whereby we have over 18 members, with different in-house-media style, representing different media outfits within and outside Nigeria, it is not proper and unethical to give opportunities to only three members.

” The government officials should not be unmindful of the fact that, we have representatives of television, radio, newspapers and online media outlets whose in-house-style varies from one another. 

When you pick newspapers to cover your functions, you deny other journalists their constitutional rights to keep Kebbi people informed on the good works of the governor. 

“We have people living in remotest areas that rely solely on radio and television to receive information about their government’s policies and programmes in the state,” he said.

Usman-Dabai urged the concerned officials to rescind their decision as journalists are partners in progress, saying that they should not undermine the constitutional provision that recognises  journalists as the “Forth Estate of the Realm.”

In his response, the chapels’ Secretary, Ibrahim Bello, enjoined the media aides to the governor to educate the concerned government officials on the modus operandi of practicing Journalists for the development of the state.

“I am calling on our patriotic and hardworking members to be patient and calm as the leadership of the chapel is working hard to resolve the matters amicably,” he called.

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