By Shedrack Onitsha,
The Imo State Government, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has tasked online media practitioners on the need for constructive criticisms of government policies and programs, nothing that constructive criticisms help government to be effective.
The governor who was represented by Chief of Staff Government House, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu gave this charge during the maiden National Convention of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, OMPAN held over the weekend at Owerri, the Imo state capital.
He said that since Online Media Practitioners are opinion builder whose reportage can guide government policies and effect change in the system, they should be objective and eschew misrepresentation of facts.
The Imo state chief of staff stated further that the Rescue Mission Government of His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has recorded tremendous achievements that are largely under-reported and misrepresented.
He noted that many people especially those in the Diaspora are unaware of these life-changing achievements of Governor Okorocha and called on online media practitioners to help objectively disseminate the information to the world.
He urged the media gurus not to limit their activities to only social media platforms like Facebook and Tweeter, but encouraged them to own their personal website or blog through which they can earn income and be self-employed.
In his remark, the Commissioner for Information, Prof Nnamdi Obiareri who represented the Governor on the first day welcomed the online media practitioners and explained that his boss was unavoidably absent due to earlier primary state engagements.
Prof. Obiareri thanked them for choosing the state as venue for the maiden National convention as it availed them the opportunity to see for themselves the unprecedented achievements of Gov. Okorocha which every local government and Senatorial zones are beneficiaries.
He disclosed that Gov Okorocha’s administration is people-oriented and takes welfare of the people of the state as priority. “For this reason, the governor introduced free education from primary to tertiary levels and sustained it for 7 years. He also built 27 General Hospitals, implemented the urban renewal policy, employed many into the civil service, and made 305 Imo Youths millionaires.”
He added that Okorocha practices home grown model of governance and devolves power to the grassroots. Thus, over 600 traditional leaders recognized by the government are in charge of governance in their respective communities and over 30 Commissioners appointed to ensure equal representation and participation in governance. Young people are also given the opportunity to participate in governance.
He noted that he also served as commissioner under Chief Achike Udenwa and Chief Ikedi Ohakim, but attested that Governor Okorocha’s achievements outweigh that of his predecessors.
Prof Obiarere who finally declared the convention open on behalf of the Governor, cautioned the media practitioners against blackmailing people with the content of their publications which has legal implications. The maiden convention of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, OMPAN saw members electing national officers.