Keep holding public officials accountable – Speaker Abass to Reps press corps

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives Abbas Tajudeen, has said that media plays a significant role in fostering democracy between those in positions of authority and the public, tasking journalists to keep holding public officials to account.

 

The Speaker made the remarks at the National Assembly on Thursday at the commissioning of the newly renovated Media Centre and the inauguration of the newly elected executive committee members of the House of Representatives Press Corps.

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The Speaker, while commending members of the Corps for their services to the Nigerian society through the reportage of the House over the years, urged them to keep the flag flying and ensure objective, balanced and accurate reporting.

 

He said: “The role of the media within a democracy cannot be overstated. As the fourth estate (of the realm), the media plays a pivotal role in fostering public engagement and upholding democratic values. The cooperation and collaboration between the media and the legislature, as outlined in our House Legislative Agenda, are essential for promoting transparency, accountability, and effective governance. By working together, we can ensure that the public remains well-informed and actively engaged in the democratic process.

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“I commend the Press Corps for your dedicated reporting on the activities of parliament. Your efforts to keep the public informed about our work are invaluable. It is essential that your reportage remain well-researched and balanced, providing accurate and fair coverage of our proceedings. This commitment to journalistic integrity helps to maintain public trust and ensures that citizens receive reliable information,” Speaker Abbas said.

 

Speaking to the issue of the resourcefulness of the media in the process of informing the public and committing the House under his leadership is supporting the Corps, Speaker Abbas acknowledged the need for the provision of a conducive environment and capacity building for effective service delivery.

 

“A well-resourced Press Centre within parliament is crucial for enabling the media to perform its duties effectively. This renovated Press Centre is yet another evidence of our commitment to providing you with a conducive work environment. I encourage you to make full use of this facility to enhance your reporting and facilitate meaningful dialogue between the legislature and the public.

 

“Continuous capacity building for the press corps covering the National Assembly is of paramount importance. The House of Representatives is committed to supporting your professional development with the help of our partners. We will work together to provide training programs and resources that will enhance your skills and ensure high-quality reporting on parliamentary activities,” he said.

 

The Speaker congratulated the newly elected executive committee members and urged them to prioritize the welfare of their colleagues by building on the achievements of the outgoing leadership for their members.

 

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the newly elected members of the Executive Committee. Your election signifies the confidence your peers have in your ability to lead with integrity and dedication. As you assume your roles, I urge you to prioritize the unity and welfare of your members. In an era where misinformation and division can easily spread, it is vital that the press corps stands united in its pursuit of truth and public interest.

 

Earlier, the outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Grace Ike applauded Speaker Tajudeen Abbas for providing quality leadership since his election.

 

She gave the commendation while delivering her valedictory speech after the inauguration of the newly renovated House of Representatives Media Centre and the swearing-in ceremony of the new Executive

 

While stressing the need for the provision of a fully digitalized Media Centre, Ike averred that: “the inauguration of this edifice- our renovated Media Centre is a testament to the Right Honourable Speaker’s and indeed the leadership of the House’s commitment to our well-being and the importance of a free press in our democracy.

 

“We are deeply grateful for your generosity and vision. This modernised facility is a beacon of hope for our profession, enabling us to discharge our duties more effectively. Your support is a reminder that a free press and a functioning democracy go hand-in-hand.

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