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The celebration of GbaramatuVoice

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Sir: Recently, I read with excitement, a statement by management of Gbaramatu Publishing Company Limited, owners of GbaramatuVoice Newspaper, announcing the planned programmes for its forthcoming 6th Annual lectures/Niger Delta Awards event slated for Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

The statement which was personally signed by Jacob Abai, the GbaramatuVoice publisher among other remarks,  noted that the anniversary celebration/lecture will have as central theme: Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward, and will have His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria deliver a keynote address, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as special guest of honour,  the Governor of Bayelsa State, as host, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as chief host, Mr. Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, nominated as Best Governor of the Year (Defence of Democracy), while Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State, will chair the occasion.   The newspaper will launch a Resource Centre for Niger Delta Studies as well as a media institute where fresh graduates from the region interested in media practice shall be trained on different media skills for self reliance.

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Two factors have so far worked for the publisher in his media excellence agenda. First, one happened on highly professionally trained journalists who understand, and are dedicated to the Niger Delta course while collaborating national and international media organisations across. This strategy helped GbaramatuVoice become a gateway to Niger Delta-related news that is factually supported. We must recall that the region was formerly characterised by perennial violence occasioned by mutual suspicion and hostilities between the IOCs and the Federal Government on one side and host communities on the other side. Such narrative and state of affairs has since been thrown to the waste bin of history with the advent of GbaramatuVoice and its team of journalists.

The GbaramatuVoice has become reputed for bringing to the surface the hidden injustices and tensions that is always alive and active in the region to where it can be seen and treated.

An important distinction to make is that GbaramatuVoice is a platform for pursuing the truth and the decentralised creation and distribution of ideas; in the same way, that government is a decentralised body for the promotion and protection of the people’s life chances. It is a platform, in other words, for development that the government must partner with.

Jerome-Mario Utomi is the programme coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos.

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