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Okowa And Accountability: The Media Brief Option - Politics - Nairaland

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Okowa And Accountability: The Media Brief Option by HenryUbus12345(m): 7:53am On Mar 28, 2018
FROM all honest intents and purposes, it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to truly tell at what point the vital principle and practice of accountability became part of human experience.
This is because, of the truth, there is very scant record in that respect in the world of today, especially in the developing part of it where the vital engagement of record keeping is seen as a luxury rather than a vital necessity. This is the main reason that it remains difficult, even in the contemporary world where science and its product, technology, have assumed an unquestionable potency in responding to virtually all scenarios and situations and acquired an uncommon application ubiquity, to establish with pin-point certitude when accountability crept into the life of man and his society.
However, may be one clear religious account can help in this regard; the story of the creation of man as recorded in the Christian holy writ, the Bible.
That story, aptly captured as the Bible account of creation, goes thus: At creation, God made a couple named Adam and Eve, both of who He put in the idyllic Garden of Eden, in which, the critical elements of nature correlated in such a mystical ambience that made the habitat unparalleled in terms of not just physical beauty, but perhaps, much more importantly, in the positive correlation between all elements of Mother Nature.
But that is not the main appeal in the story, as it relates to our subject, today.
According to the story, God, on completion of the creation process, gave the couple command as to what they should eat of and what they should prohibit. In simple terms, by that simple action, God Himself set the rule(s) of engagement for both Adam, and the woman, Eve. By the same principle of that action, God set in motion, the imperative of accountability. And this was soon to be evident.
In the course of their stay in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, reportedly after deception by the satan, decoyed as a snake, ate of the forbidden fruit, and on the strength of their transgression, came to the knowledge of their unclothedness.
The rest, as it is said, is history.
As God came by, He asked Adam –who had apparently huddled out of sight out of both shame and fear- where he was and he reportedly said that he was ashamed of his unclothedness after Eve (the woman he said God gave him) misled him into eating the fruit God had stridently forbidden them from eating.
In understandable anger, God sanctioned Adam to a life of hard labour, and Eve to a syndrome of the pangs of labour. As for satan, he was to crawl on its belly and of dust it must feed, for all of life.
And that was it.
For failing to meet the responsibility embedded in the opportunity inherent in their privileged stay in the Garden, God appropriately punished the couple, and satan, and ever since then, the basic principle of accountability inherent in the above story has remained a core part of the story of man; it may yet remain so for all of aeons.
As man and his society climbed the ladder of time and made progress in terms of civilisation, the imperative to enforce the principle of accountability and to sanction breaches became more compelling.
It is realisation of the critical place of accountability in the life of leadership-at the individual and corporate levels-that the Okowa government has accorded it due slant. Profuse expressions of the conviction of the administration in this regard and its abiding faith in due deference to accountability as the primary gain of leadership, have found eloquence in its regular gubernatorial media interactions, post-State Executive Council (EXCO) media briefs, ministerial press briefings and regular media chats by commissioners and other flowers of the administration.
The positive disposition of the administration in this regard is pegged-quite rightly-on the fact that, in a democracy such as we profess, the people, by whose grace it holds power, are the sovereign, the true custodians of authority and legitimacy.
In the course of its exercise of the reins of power inherent in the mandate he earned on account of the outcome of the 2015 governorship poll in the state, Governor Okowa has, aside all other strategies, opted for the calibrated media briefs at which he strives to attain multiple goals at the same time-unfold the goals and purpose of his administration and its challenges so far and feel the public pulse by proxy-via the press-which, as the fourth estate of the realm, is classically and uniquely equipped for the vital role of two-way communication between the core stakeholders in the game of public administration-the leadership and the followership, otherwise called the people, the sovereign.
The media brief sessions hold quarterly and at each session, Okowa, in a no holds-barred format, fields questions on virtually every subject as they affect his administration and the wellbeing of the people, by whose grace it was elected into office in the first instance.
The last of the briefs took place on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, and, as usual, the echelon of the mass media in and around the state had effective presence and interacted with him on the firm basis of their professional calling, raising questions and seeking answers to myriad issues. In all, Okowa provided answers, which were impressive in their range and depth, to the issues raised and the matters canvassed.
Evidently, the media briefs help Okowa attain multiple beneficial goals in the following ways:
(a) PLATFORM FOR PASSING ACROSS VITAL INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC
By the nature of the media briefs, the governor is able to pass vital information to the mass of the public via the media channels available. In this way, the public is made aware of the goals , aspirations and challenges of the government and the strategies and tactics it is adopting to attain them or respond to the situation-as in the case of challenges.
(b)AVENUE FOR FERRETING INFORMATION
Without an iota of doubt, no government, no matter its reach and popularity, can have access to all of the challenges that face its people and their opinion on them. But thanks to the press, especially at such fora as the media brief in issue, the governor and the government are able, mainly based on the questions raised and the matters canvassed, to know far more than is otherwise feasible, the development and other challenges facing the people over whom they govern.
(c)AS A GUIDE POST
Like its other contemporaries, the administration, latching on the information ferreted at the media briefs, becomes in a better position to know the challenges facing its people and, on the strength of the rich stock of knowledge and information available to it, uses them in drawing up its policies and programmes, thus effectively using the brief as a guide post.

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