Northern Regional Minister calls for closer collaboration between journalists and state institutions

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu – Northern Region Minister

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, has called for closer collaboration between state institutions and journalists in the region to address issues of the environment. 

He said, “I believe that if we recognise the role of each other, we can work closely for a common good.”

Alhaji Saibu made the call during the launch of the Northern Region Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards in Tamale.

The ceremony was attended by journalists, representatives of non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, and some Heads of Department and Agencies.

The Awards, organised by the Northern Regional branch of the GJA, is on the theme: “Promoting Responsible Behaviour to Protect the Environment: The Role of the Media.”

There are twelve categories for the Awards for journalists in the Northern, North East and Savannah Regions to compete for, using stories published in the year 2022.

The Awards will be held in Tamale on October 07, this year.

Alhaji Saibu touched on the theme of the Awards, which focused on the environment saying “This is a great theme because it is generally accepted that the basis of any life is the environment and you and I know that our own behaviours are responsible for the many environmental challenges that we face today.”

He said, “The activities of galamsey, the felling of trees, bush burning, building in water ways, open defecation, indiscriminate dumping of refuse are some of the practices that are rife in our communities.”

He said, “Whilst, we in government, continue to pursue the enactment and implementation of the relevant policies projects and programmes to deal with these issues, it is important other non-government and non-state actors, CSOs and of course the media contribute their part for us to present a collective action.”

He emphasised that “The support of journalists is required for the desired success in communicating the right messages and also drawing attention to what is required. We should complement each other to achieve the goal.”

He recognised the efforts and contributions of journalists to the progress and development of the region saying, “Indeed your diverse efforts and contributions, especially in sustaining peace and security should be acknowledged.”

He added that “You have also periodically highlighted issues of development, which have attracted attention, contributing to progress and development. In the course of all these, there have been misunderstandings, disagreements and sometimes intense differences.”

He said; “Despite the occasional disagreements we have, we can still work together for the benefit of our people.”

Alhaji Saibu urged journalists and state institutions to identify themselves as seeking a common good of a better life for the people, emphasising that “That should be the rallying point for us.” 

He added that “We can criticise each other on principles and leave out our personalities. Let us continue to work together for the benefit of our people. Let us work to reduce tension in our society and bring more focus to progress and development.”

Mr Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Northern Regional Chairman of the GJA entreated journalists to use their platforms to promote unity, encourage moral uprightness and social cohesion.

He urged them to use their platforms to promote healthy debates on issues of national importance with the view to foster unity, development and progress.

Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, Chief Director at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, lauded the role of journalists in development, and assured them of continuous partnership with them for the welfare of the region.

Mr Albert Futukpor, Northern Regional Secretary of GJA, said the Awards initiative was to promote excellence in journalism practice and urged all journalists in the three regions to patronise the Awards.

Source: GNA

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