Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Nasarawa State Deputy Governor has tasked journalists in the state on investigative reportage of issues based on facts to avoid sensationalism.
Akabe made the call on Friday in Lafia when the State Executive Council members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), paid him a courtesy visit to introduce the newly elected officials of the council.
He said that the current digital era provided journalists with unimaginable access to information, hence practitioners must go beyond the surface to investigate and unravel facts before going to press.
The deputy governor noted that journalism is a noble profession and required practitioners to adhere to the ethics by reporting issues truthfully devoid of sentiments.
He decried recent reports about him in the media where it was alleged that the State House of Assembly had set up a committee to probe him over funds for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
“I, being the chairman of the state COVID-19 committee, was the one who suggested to the Speaker of the assembly on the need for the house to set up a committee on COVID-19 to ensure all-inclusive effort in the fight against the pandemic.
“Then before you know, journalists started reporting that the house of assembly was probing me.
“I made the suggestion because the executive has a committee on COVID-19, the traditional rulers have their own and it good for the assembly to have their own so that we would all sensitize people on the virus,” he added.
Akabe also said that the state COVID-19 committee had publicly given an account of donations and expenditure to the press.
The deputy governor also pointed out that the Governor Abdullahi Sule-led administration was not afraid of criticism provided it was constructive and aimed at ensuring correction for the overall development of the state.
He also assured NUJ of the determination of his office and indeed the state government to support them where necessary.
Akabe, therefore, promised to donate two sets of table tennis boards, chairs, and the television sets to the union.
Earlier, Salihu Mohammed Alkali, NUJ state council Chairman, thanked the deputy governor and the government for their support to journalists through the provision of enabling working environment.
The NUJ chairman also assured the deputy governor of the union’s determination to partner the government toward ensuring better reportage of activities in the state.