Media plays complementary role in governance – Abuja Authority
Hudu Yakubu, Abuja
The Mandate Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Area Council Services Secretariat in Abuja (ACSS), Ibrahim Dantsoho says the media plays a complementary role in governance
Dantsoho stated this on Friday during the 2022 FCT Minister’s Press Corps Retreat, in Bauchi State
While presenting a paper on the role of FCT Administration, residents and the media in holding the Area Council Chairmen accountable for service provision and infrastructure delivery, he stressed the importance of the effective participation of Nigerian media practitioners and other citizens in the democratic process, especially at the grassroots level.
This, the FCTA said could be realised through critical reporting of activities of the six Area Councils in the Territory as the third eye of the society.
Represented by Director, ACSS Chieftaincy matters, Awwal Manu Dogon-Daji, the Secretary said “Democracy requires that people should have the right to know the activities of government, especially the decision of the government that affects their life, liberty and property.
“Information is important for people to make choices regarding their participation in the state.
“Sufficient information helps people to decide rationally and take the right course of action beneficial to them. Media-both print and electronic, thus help to know what is happening around.
“Citizens and civil society engagement, to demand and promote good governance can improve by and large the viability of good governance and anti-corruption programme because the success of democracy is impossible without participation of the people.“
According to him, the residents need to continually engage the Area Council Administrations for inclusiveness, commend where necessary and demand explanations when needed.
This, he said would spur the Democratically Elected Chairmen to leave up to their responsibilities.
Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who presented a paper at the retreat, urged media professionals to always be aware of the enormous power they possess, and use it for the good of the society.
He, however, decried the poor participation in the democratic process by the citizens, resulting in low demand for accountability.
According to him, there are several factors that affect the ability of the media practitioners in grassroots governance such as the mindset and ideology, media policies/house styles, time/space, workload, funding etc.
He added that Journalists should engage in budget tracking, to ensure efficiency in governance, urging them to always be guard dogs rather being bark dogs.
Also speaking, a representative of the Bauchi State Governor, his Special Adviser on Media, Comrade Muktar Gidado, noted that the media and government are strategic partners in the development of the society.
He also charged the Journalists to always be above board in utterances and conducts, in order to keep ensuring efficiency and accountability in the grassroots governance process.
The Chairman of the FCT Minister’s Press Corps, Hudu Yakubu, reiterated the commitment of media practitioners especially those covering activities of the FCT and environs,
He commended the FCTA for making the retreat a consistent trend since 2016.
Yakubu expressed hope that the next minister would key into the initiative, which has gone far to deepen the relationship between the media and the government.