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Imo: Irona Wants a United Publishers Association

…Reiterates Commitment to FOI Act Implementation
Source: Dr. Walter Duru

Imo State Deputy Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Gerald Alphonsus Irona has reiterated the resolve of the incoming administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to entrench good governance in Imo State, even as he called on the Imo State Newspaper Publishers Association to be united.

Irona stated this while addressing members of the Imo State Independent Newspaper Publishers Association, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Oguta, weekend.

He lauded the media for their role in entrenching good governance in the State, urging them to partner with the administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to ensure that the dividends of democracy are brought to the door steps of the people.

“Imo State is blessed with material and natural resources. Imo is blessed with tourism potentials. Imo is an Oil producing State. The media have worked in ensuring the success of the Peoples Democratic Party at the polls, but that is not enough. We must ensure that we partner with the government to entrench good governance in Imo State. We are willing to partner with the media in Imo to ensure same. You must be united, if this must be achieved.”

Imo State Independent Newspaper Publishers in a group photo with Imo State Deputy Gov.-elect, Hon. Irona during the visit

Continuing, Irona reiterated the commitment of the incoming administration to adopt and operationalise the Freedom of Information Act in the State, to ensure transparency and accountability, while promoting citizens’ participation in governance.

“We shall adopt the Freedom of Information Act in Imo State and ensure that it is operational. We shall be guided by the Rule of Law. We shall work to build an egalitarian society in the state.”

Commenting on what he described as political desperation, Irona condemned the multiple post- election litigations in the state, urging all to be united in working for people of the state.

On the division in the Imo State Independent Newspapers Association, Irona urged all stakeholders to sheath their sword in the interest of the state, even as he preached reconciliation among the aggrieved parties.

Earlier in his speech, Chairman, Imo State Independent Newspaper Publishers Association, Mr. Henry Ekpe pledged the partnership of newspaper Publishers in Imo State to the incoming administration.

He described the outgoing administration of Chief Rochas Okorocha as media unfriendly, urging the incoming administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha to carry the publishers along in the scheme of things.

“We are here to identify with you. We are ready to partner with your administration to succeed. The outgoing administration is not media friendly. We supported you and we are willing to work with you. We know that your administration will face a lot of challenges. No matter the challenges, please, carry us along. We shall be very professional in the discharge of our duties. We shall be guided by the ethics of the profession. We shall not be part of any move to destroy or run down the government. We are your friends and we will work with you.”

The media organisations present at the meeting were: Trumpeta, Frontline Express, Newspoint, City Star, Nigerian Moment, Hero, Newsday Express, First Citizen and The Globe.

Others are: Watchdog, Nigerian Union Mail, Newsbreak, Nigerian Horn, Big Truth, Record Express and Announcer Express.

Dr. Walter Duru
Adviser, Communications and Strategy to Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona

Deputy Governor-elect, Imo State