Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Let me from the outset sincerely thank you all for responding in numbers to our invitation to be part of today’s gathering to discuss the progress of our dear state as regards communication through the social media. This Social Media Summit is the first of its kind in Kogi’s political history and becomes necessary due to the increasing influence of social media in today’s politics. In other words, this is a media related innovation engendered by this government of New Direction under the leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
- I would like to thank our summit partners for the vision that we have shared which culminated in the creation of a platform for us to deliberate on salient issues concerning the image of Kogi State as seen and analyzed by political pundits and media influencers all over the country and beyond.
- I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the co-organizers of this summit for considering me worthy of addressing this assemblage of multifaceted and multidimensional media experts. I am equally gratefully impressed by the calibre of those with whom I am sharing the podium — diligent, enthusiastic, and venerable men and women who have played, and are still playing key roles in the development of Kogi State. That indeed underscores the seriousness of this summit.
- Yesterday, dispatches of social media influencers were sent to the three senatorial districts of the State to witness ongoing projects of the government. It was sacrificial on your part to endure the stress of the inland travels. Moreover, we sincerely apologize for a number of things we could have done differently and how we could have treated you differently. We accept responsibility. We fulsomely thank you for your understanding.
- This government realises the importance of the contributions of the people towards the governance of the state, and we are in constant communication with the people for the benefit of the quest for a new and better Kogi State.
- This government, strictu sensu, realises the usefulness of the social media and employs it maximally for developmental and progressive interaction with the citizens and friends of Kogi State.
- Dear social media influencers, you were invited to this progressive discussion today because this government carries everybody along, irrespective of political and ethnic affiliations.
- You were invited here today because the New Direction administration believes you have an important role to play in the new Kogi project.
- You were invited here today consequent upon the fact that this government needs your constructive and progressive contributions towards the development of our beloved state.
- Our people are passionate about the leadership of this state. They always make their voice heard, and social media presents a very convenient medium for them to do so. The assertive nature of the good people of Kogi State has kept me on my toes and pushes me to give my best in trying to interact with them and satisfy their hunger for information. I can assure you that Kogi State blogosphere will make a full grown man sweat while trying to negotiate it.
- There is always the challenge of misinterpretation, misrepresentation, and negative comments on the information the government puts out on the official social media platforms, but we keep surmounting this challenge with consistent, prompt and robust rejoinders when the need arises.
- Dear social media influencers, as great men and women who have carved a niche for themselves and established credibility in the media industry, this government knows you have a strong voice that can either make or mar whatever the government stands for. With due respect, we want to be on the positive side of your voice. This is the more reason this summit is being held, because the government considers you as partners in progress. It is my hope that this summit will offer us a more robust platform for critical engagement and that whatever we take away from here will also be leveraged upon for subsequent engagements as the government will always need your contributions.
- To all social media commentators of Kogi extraction, we appreciate your suggestions. We implore you to keep them coming to reflect your responsibility as fantastic indigenes of Kogi State and citizens of Nigeria. It is your natural right. Because we know Kogites are strong, decent and intelligent people, we will prefer you to be civil and constructive in your criticisms so we can quickly adopt your suggestions. Destructive criticism is anti-progress; it’s anti-development. Constructive criticism is good for democracy.
- I implore us all to feel free to express our observations and suggestions. Do bless us with your media expertise towards the realisation of our collective dream for a new and better Kogi State.
- From the New Direction Media Team, we wish you a fantastic interface and a fabulous interactive session with prominent functionaries of the New Direction government of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.