The media has received a path on the back for sustainably helping government at all levels through advocacy to contain spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, openly applauded the Nigerian media for its role in the overall management of COVID-19 pandemic in a goodwill message at the 5th Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, in Lagos on Thursday.
Okowa, who was represented by Mr.Jackson Ekwugum, General Manager, Communication, stressed that advocacy and enlightenment by the media helped to create public awareness, and specifically commended GOCOP members for showing remarkable professionalism in their reportage of the pandemic.
The Governor recalled that Delta took a proactive step when the pandemic broke out in Nigeria, being among the first set of states to set up fully functional and well-equipped isolation centres long before any incident was recorded in the state.
He lauded GOCOP for the theme of the conference – Covid-19 Pandemic: Recovery and Reconstruction; adding that it was in tandem with what Delta is embarking on at the moment, which is, riding on the success of the containment of the pandemic to implement measures that would lead to early recovery and reconstruction of the damage caused by Covid-19, especially on the socio-economic life of Deltans.
The Governor reaffirmed his determination to build a smarter Delta in spite of the temporary setback which the pandemic caused globally. He said one of the reliable ways to begin the reconstruction and recovery was to ensure that people participate in the ongoing vaccination.
He urged those who still propagate conspiracy theories to rethink their actions as this has made some gullible Nigerians to exhibit vaccine-hesitancy, an action that further endangers the health of the public.
Okowa charged the media to step up the campaign for pro-vaccination to counter any form of fake news and falsehood being peddled about the pandemic.
“While publicly acknowledging the contribution of the media and thanking you for your efforts so far, I wish to implore you not rest on your oars as we all embark on the greater challenge of recovery and reconstruction.
“It is on this note that I want to implore GOCOP members to raise their voices so that together we can effectively drown the voices of conspiracy theorists and ultimately achieve mass vaccination,” he said.
The event was chaired by Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu while keynote was delivered by the Secretary to Government of Federation and Chairman Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha who was represented by the Executive Director and CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Dr. Yayha Disu, a Director at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also presented a perspective on the topic.