The newly-appointed Northern Region Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, has implored the regional press corps to support him in achieving the developmental vision of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the media’s work in every democratic state cannot be over-emphasised – and Ghana is no exception. This is they play a key role in keeping the public informed on key policies, as well as ensuring accountability from policymakers and implementers.
Alhaji Shaibu therefore appealed to journalists and media houses in the region to give his administration the necessary support to enable him successfully execute his mandate.
The Regional Minister made the appeal during his inaugural formal interaction with the media, as he sought to introduce himself and spell out his ambitions as he assumes office. “This is a task that has been assigned to me by H.E. the president of the Republic of Ghana. It’s a mandate that I have to make sure I execute – and the best way to start the execution of that mandate is by getting you, the media, involved,” he said.
“The media is the fourth realm of governance, and I am very much aware of that. Anything that we do and the media is not present is worthless. Whatever we do, whatever we say, it is the media that will carry the message across to the people,” he added.
The Regional Minister promised to maintain an open-door policy and encouraged journalists to endeavour to contact his office whenever they require information on any issue bordering on development of the region.
“My office will be open to you. You just need to place a call and book an appointment with the coordinating director, or the relevant agencies under the NRCC, to get the relevant information that you need for your work. I will plead with you, as hearsay is very hazardous to information flow, if you don’t hear from the horse’s own mouth, please try and seek clarification and the relevant information from the official source so you do not report and regret later on.”
On his part, Northern Region Chairman of the Ghana Journalists’ Association, Abdul Majeed Yakubu, pledged the media’s support in working with the Regional Minister. He however urged the minister to work with all journalists and media houses in the region and not just a select few or those he had an affinity to; hence, the minister gave assurance that his work with the media will not be discriminatory.
Chief Director of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, also commended the regional press corps for the cooperation and support they gave to immediate past Regional Minister Mr. Salifu Saeed and his team. He implored the press corps to endeavour to extend the same cooperation and support to the new minister and his team to succeed in the execution of their tasks.