Monday, March 6, 2017 5:16 pm
Mr Tims Ejigah, former Vice President of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), has advised Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi to restore full cabinet status to the Ministry of Information (MoI).
Ejigah made the call on Monday in Lokoja, at the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected officials of the Kogi Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He expressed surprise that the ministry of information had been downgraded in a democratically elected government “whose natural oxygen is the free flow of information and ideas”.
“The ministry has been downgraded and reduced to just a department; this is certainly not good for information dissemination,” he said.
He noted that the ministry had existed since Kogi was created 25 years ago, pointing out that it was sustained by even successive military regimes.
“Every state has a ministry of information except Kogi and Kaduna; we are in a digital age, but here are governors seeking to downgrade information,” he said.
Ejigah called on the government to restore full cabinet status to the ministry as its continued absence was impeding access to information.
The outgoing NUJ Chairman, Mr Ali Atabor, in his remarks, thanked members for the support given to him and his team, and urged the new officials to consolidate on achievements recorded by predecessors.
Atabor also called on the Kogi Government to upgrade the ministry of information to its original status, stressing that access to information by newsmen was being hampered by its absence.
“Given our achievements, especially in the media industry, where we have so many Kogi people heading many media houses, we cannot afford to joke with information.
“Clearly, to reach the grassroots, we must have a ministry solely charged with communicating with the people and gauging their pulses,” he said.
Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Adeiza, the new chairman, thanked the members for the opportunity to lead the union, and commended his rivals in the contest, for agreeing to work with him.
“Our doors are always open to suggestions and contributions from all members. Please feel free to offer your suggestions on the best way to improve on what is on ground,” he said