By Bukola Adama
Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has advocated for freedom of the press in the country in view of their role as an instrument of change in any given society.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by members of the International Press Institute (IPI) led by a one-time Director-General of Nigeria Television Authority (D-G NTA), Dr. Tonnie Iredia, he said the press is very critical to development and should be factored into governance processes in the country.
The Governor said any government that wants to impact on the people must allow for freedom of press saying the moment information is not allowed to flow freely then the populace will be cut-off from the root of government.
He noted that the press has moved beyond dissemination of information to becoming a strong instrument of change in attitude and perception stating that it is difficult to see change taking place without free-flow of information.
According to him, “I feel the role Nigeria press is playing required to be strengthened as it is more required now than ever. Information dissemination is critical to stability. That is why anything that has to do with information dissemination must be taken seriously”.
He urged the IPI to use their instrumentality of information dissemination in stabilising the Nigerian status to ensure good governance and showcase a lot of achievements about Nigeria and its people to the outside world.
Earlier, the leader of the IPI team, Dr. Iredia said they are on a nationwide tour to sensitise governments and people of the country about the forthcoming conference of the Institute coming up in June in the country as it is capable of changing the perception of foreigners about Nigeria.
Dr. Iredia who emphasised the importance of free press in the country, called for an attitudinal change towards the press by allowing them access to information as well as providing journalists with good remuneration to enable them perform their duties effectively.
He commended the governor for the infrastructure development witnessed in the state especially the Diamond Under-pass going on at Geri-Alimi, saying other leaders in the country should emulate the good work of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.