The director-general of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim, has been recognized by Blueprint Newspapers Limited for a distinguished service as a public servant.
He was recognized alongside other distinguished Nigerians in the public and private sectors at the 10th anniversary/ impart series and awards of the Blueprint Newspaper with the theme ‘Technology Innovation As Antidote To Election Rigging’ yesterday in Abuja.
The council’s director of finance and accounts, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed, who received the award on behalf of his boss, lauded the newspaper for the laudable initiative of recognising and promoting servitude in the country.
The Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, who was present on the occasion, tasked the media to set an agenda to create national unity for a better country, saying they have a crucial role to play in creating national unity and remodelling of public opinions.
He said the media could control public emotions and opinion with a positive attitude, stressing that even the best efforts of policy makers and government would not produce results without a positive attitude in the media.
“I challenge the media to reaffirm their faith in Nigeria and rededicate themselves to their role as the fourth estate of the realm. That role asks them not to just produce the first draft of a grim history but to set the agenda for a bright tomorrow for their country. The role requires them to responsibly moderate public and debate, douse tension, resolve disputes including by providing context for issues, and help in stabilizing the polity.
“The Nigerian media must, therefore, always seek to help the nation turn its crises into wheels of progress. This they can do by providing useful information to calm the people and encourage them to do positive actions. In the current situation, the media should seek information only from a credible source in order to limit the spread of fake news. They should avoid information that is capable of inciting violence and reprisals,” he said.
In his remarks, former President Goodluck Jonathan represented by the former minister of works, Dr Mike Oneyeme, identified the media as a platform to ensure peace, stability and economic progress of our country.
Similarly, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, represented by the commission’s director of ICT, Chidi Nwafor, said INEC had set up new technology that would help the forthcoming 2023 election.
“As far as you know how to use computer system, you are free to use the technology, you sign in, go to any of the portal, you can locate a registration center, check your finger print, your data and your face before you can vote,” he said.
In his welcome address, the chairman of Blueprint Newspapers, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, said the media use technology to reach all sources of people in the country, adding Nigeria has to use technology to reduce election rigging in the 2021 election.