Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has commended Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on the delivery of dividends of democracy, noting that for Dickson to recognize that the information ministry is important then he has a thinking cap on.
Professor Gana, stated this Thursday, while commissioning the new information House Yenagoa, as part of the 6th anniversary of the Dickson administration
He disclosed that years ago he had the opportunity to commission the radio Abuja and today he is also privileged to commission the information house in the state, adding that the truth will be told there, and “the people will be set free and become greater people and a wonderful foundation has been laid for democracy to strive. “
The former minister who led a delegation which included, former minister of information Mr. Labaran Maku, Chief John Odeh, Muktar Shagari a former deputy governor of Sokoto state, a media activist Ochei Elias and a former commissioner for information, Louis Odion, noted that the government system woule be effective if accurate information is passed.
During a panel of discussion with the theme “managing government information in our volatile new media age” a matter of theory or a question of practical, he opined that there’s a close relationship between democracy and information dissemination.
He observed that managing information is the most difficult thing “because if you pass it this way, the people take it another way.”
For Maku, the topic of discussion was important because “Information has become people driven, anybody will a phone can disseminate information even before a trained journalist does”
“You can’t prevent information from going out, the best way to manage public image is to run an open government” he said,, adding that the ministry must be equipped with trained staff to do the work of information dissemination.
Maku said, new media has come to stay. “A lot of people are not comfortable with it but on the balance it is better to have them there than not” in our society today some persons used them for their selfish interest in the past but want to chase them now.
Chief Odeh, noted that managing information in the political organization is not different from the offices, adding that the challenge is trying to suppress information.
He said: “When you have information, you have to start your narratives before the opponent gets it and use against you,” noting that managing information in the new age is different from the past because time is of essence.
“You have to ensure to put information early in the public’s view, so that those that are not trained will relay it the same way you have done”
The media activist, Mr. Ochei Elias, submitted that Nigerians don’t believe in government’s information managers any more, noting that the government needs to engage the younger people more on social medie.