By Adebayo Olodan
The Kwara State Government has offered reasons for its decision to choose a private radio station over the state-owned media for its regular interactive programme; ‘Governor Explains’ held last month.
Recall that the state government came under severe criticism from residents of Kwara for its decision to host the intermingle programme on Royal FM, Ilorin as against Radio Kwara or Kwara Television – two government-owned electronic media outfits.
Though the programme which featured the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed was aired simultaneously on Radio Kwara, Unilorin FM, Sobi FM and Harmony FM, many people opined that it was wrong for the state government to be promoting private stations at the detriment of its own media organisations. They argued that having such programme hosted by Radio Kwara or Kwara TV would go a long way in boosting their audience and viewership especially at a time the state government claimed it is committed to repositioning those media outfits including the Herald newspapers.
Reacting to the allegations in separate tweets at the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Media and Communications, Dr Muideen Akorede said it was erroneous for anyone to conclude the state government is promoting private radio stations against its own.
According to him, “Radio Kwara hosted the first episodes of ‘Governor Explains.’ We need to give other stations sense of belonging.”
He added that since those radio stations are in Kwara and they also pay tax, it will not be out of order if they benefit government patronage too.
Akorede’s view was supported by a Kwara resident and social media commentator, Shehu Lawal, who said, “Private stations deserve government patronage especially when targeting their large audience. The state government needs to spread its patronage across boards without neglecting own media.”
Governor Ahmed had during the programme; Governor Explains on August 30 interracted with Kwarans on infrastructural development, health, sports and other sectors.