In all democratic settings it is well known that newspapers,both print and online play vital roles in determining the brightness of good governance and civil responsibility for both the government and the governed. This is why successive governments have overtime encouraged and provided sufficient privileges for newspapers to thrive in our democracy,which I may not wish to describe it as nascent in Nigeria.
However,there is a huge visible slide from the rational democratic responsibilities of some emerging newspaper outlets which have compromised their standard bearings,only to lead in the ill-fated path of causing disaffection,spreading of misleading reports,and unwholesome involvements in criminally induced sponsorship and publications of injurious falsehoods.
A stark example of the above unfortunate case is that of the activities of SAHARA REPORTERS on the social media. I have noticed that in the last couple of years,the person or people behind the shameless and disgraceful outings of SAHARA REPORTERS have sold their pride to indecency and lies,while encouraging the attitude of blackmails,mischief and public deceit.
Yesterday,I read an obviously PDP sponsored and hysterically mischievous report emanating from SAHARA REPORTERS that the Executive Governor of Benue State,His Excellency,Rev. Fr.Dr. Hyacinth Alia approved the sum of N2 billion for the procurement of vehicles for appointees of the government and for his office.While I consider the above report by SAHARA REPORTERS as not only petty but idiotic and nonsensical as far as the immeasurably significant functions and responsibilities of government appointees and the Governor are summarily concerned vis- a – vis the need to procure mobility for them.
While I put it to SAHARA REPORTERS that their publication against the Governor of Benue State is mischievously motivated and sponsored by the usual forces of negative opposition, I wish to equally draw their attention to the following,which certainly they are not well informed about:
1. Let SAHARA REPORTERS know that since the inception of the administration of His Excellency,Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia in Benue State,the Governor has brought in and sustained the integrity of a responsible leader whose divine inspirations from his calling as a Catholic Priest have better situated him to ensuring the prompt payment of salaries of Benue workers,including the arrears there accumulated and left behind by the former PDP government. This credible trend has been sustained not from federal government allocation but from the Governor’s prudent management and harnessing of internally generated revenue and audit systems.
2. Let SAHARA REPORTERS know that since inception of the administration of His Excellency,Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia in Benue State,the Governor solicited for the understanding of government appointees,including members of the legislature to allow him address some of the immediate promises he made to the people of Benue,before any other matter concerning the welfare and working condition of such appointees could be addressed,including the provision of vehicles for mobility and functional activities. This was understood and consented to by the appointees and the elected officials,regardless of the urgent significance of mobility as a critical factor for the effectiveness and efficiency of government functionaries. It instructive to state that Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia’s approval for vehicles to be purchased (if at all it is so) is definitely not unconnected to the emerging urgent need to ensure that government functionaries are at this point provided with facilities that would support their roles in government and to the Governor for purposes of good governance without hindrances and hurdles.
3. Coming to the specific hysterically petty,misleading and mischievous alarm by SAHARA REPORTERS over the approval of N2 billion by Governor Hyacinth Alia for vehicles to be purchased for government officials,I wish to put it that SAHARA REPORTERS are not competent and they lack knowledge about the number of appointees or elected officials in the government of Benue State,as well as the rising cost of vehicles,which in this case,the amount of 2 billion Naira ( if at all it is so) is for the necessity of the workings of the government. Hence,the diatribe against Governor Hyacinth Alia by SAHARA REPORTERS is only but a confirmation of the fact that they are a bunch of cash-and -carry outfit for useless,idiotic and misleading propaganda in Nigerian democracy.
4. I wish to encourage SAHARA REPORTERS to say what they know and they should dissuade from busy-body media practice. For the records,of which SAHARA REPORTERS should know is that,in the past five months of the administration of Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia in Benue State,the Governor has successfully embarked on very aggressive and deliberate development policies,programmes and projects,including rural and urban rehabilitation/renewal of over 23 ongoing roads across the state, rehabilitation of internally displaced persons(IDPs),civil service reforms,steady payment of salaries and pensions,intensive strategic collaborations and fight against insecurity,agricultural and food security initiatives and incentives,Executive-Legislative harmony,etc. SAHARA REPORTERS should also tell the world of these feats which are legendary to the credit of Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia, the Governor!
Dr. Mkor Aondona writes as the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Benue State on Research,Documentation and Strategy