•As Dogara, Lasun shun awards ceremony
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon Abdulrazaq Namdas, has urged federal and state legislators to collaborate with the media in nation building.
Hon Namdas made the call at the weekend at the maiden annual dinner/awards ceremony organized by the House of Representatives Press Corps in conjunction with the Correspondents Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) FCT in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, his deputy and other members of the body of principal
officers, shunned the event.
This is regardless of the fact that the speaker had endorsed the event as well as its date.
Spokesman of the House, who called on his colleagues to be more receptive to journalists particularly those covering activities of the
Parliament rather than see them as enemies.
He added that a healthy media- legislative relationship would enhance the free flow of information from the legislators to the general public as the media was in a better position to assess activities of lawmakers and the parliament in general.
The lawmaker, who was also honored as the “Ambassador of the House” commended the House Press Corps for deeming it fit to assess and award deserving House members, saying that it would spur legislators to work better for the good of the country.
Chairman of the occasion and former House member, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, admonished the leadership of the House to raise its game by taking advantage of the disposition of the press corps to manage its reputation and public perception in view of its vulnerabilities in an era of social and traditional media.
Eyiboh, who was recently appointed chairman of the Cross-River Basin Development Authority, called for constructive engagements, symbiotic relationship, trainings and informal quarterly experience sharing and collaborations as a panacea for institutional image minding between the legislature and the media.
He added that “time has really changed yesterday, and today, the management or otherwise of information is the difference in the success and failure in leadership”.
Earlier, chairman of the House Press Corps, Umar Mohammed Puma, said the essence of the award of excellence was to provide a platform on ways through which the media can collaborate with the legislature as well as other institutions of government to achieve national development.
Puma regretted that most public officials especially politicians, see the media as a partner that should be held at arm’s length, saying “but we believe that those who court the media in their public life stand a better chance of succeeding in their assignments”.
He explained that the awards are classified into four categories, comprising serving members of the 8th House with outstanding performance; members of the 7th Assembly, who are doing excellently in different capacities; the National Assembly Bureaucracy and institutions and organizations in the public and private sector, which have conducted their activities as it concerns the National Assembly with utmost responsibility and integrity.