|Chief O.G. Evans Tubonah|
Golden Pen Newspapers
Whereas this occasion brings together within and from the diaspora all sons and daughters of the state and of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality to reflect on the journey so far and the well being of the people, the way such programmes were managed has been called to question as to the unity and oneness of the people and institutions.
Though the role of galvanizing the people of the state for such grand occasions is herculean, and officials of the State government had been found swimming in the tide of errors in her relationship with personalities and individuals in the area of protocol. Most importantly, it is not unreasonable to point out to the Bayelsa State Government that marginalizing the Press in the state in the scheme of things is a grievous error that needs to be corrected without further delay.
The Bayelsa State government led by the the Restoration Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson started well with the Press initially, but for some time now, it's like the door of government has been closed against the Media. It baffles not only one but media practitioners to see that all their efforts in the past and present to move Bayelsa State forward had not been appreciated, for which reason; media practitioners are totally absent in the protocol list of Government House.
The Bayelsa State Government in particular and the Nigerian nation should not forget the role the press played in State and National building. It is on record that, it was the press that fought gallantly at the forefront during the independence struggle and also fought the military to midwife democracy which is enjoyed today, by those in their priviledged positions across the country.
And in the same light the role of the Press in the struggle for the creation of Bayelsa State cannot be over emphasized. It is also on record, the roles of the Press from the genesis of Bayelsa State to date moving on in her zeal to move Bayelsa State forward. This, the Bayelsa State government does not seem to appreciate about the press at all, and that may be the reason the press is always not in the protocol list of those government would want to relate with or favour. In such a great occasion, as celebrating Nigeria's Independence and the birth of Bayelsa, one would have expected that all stakeholders be given a feel of government's seesensitivity to the contributions made by the people including those in the media, but that has not been the case with the media.
Intact, the Bayelsa State government had either knowingly or unknowingly treated the media practitioners in the state as inconsequential and had sidelined them even on programmes or occasions that needed their attention for documentation. Now, in such an occasion as the 56th Anniversary of Nigeria's Independence and 20th Anniversary of Bayelsa, media practitioners interested to attend the function did not make the protocol list announced by the Government through the Office of the Honourable Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Hon. Obuebite Jonathan.. This is a grievous error that need to be corrected in earnest for the well being and prosperity of our dear state, because the media makes governance easier to governments that work in tandem with the Press.
This is no doubt a challenge that the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite should intervene and achieve reestablishment of that government/media partnership that existed