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SPEECH DELIVERED AT MAYAKI’S ROUNDTABLE WITH FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA

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SPEECH DELIVERED BY JOHN MAYAKI ON THE 6TH OF DECEMBER, 2016, AT THE BISHOP KELLY PASTORIAL CENTRE DURING THE EVENT TAGGED: MAYAKI’S ROUNDTABLE WITH FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA   This is the maiden edition in a series of proposed Roundtables organized by www.johnmayaki.com and supported by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa.   The theme of this edition is: The Media Practitioner’s View of Edo State under Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. It is intended to be a critical discussion, review and assessment of the administration of the Governor’s term, and the potentials for generating a legacy from his achievements.   This event is designed to bring together, galvanize and encourage my professional colleagues, most of whom I have had the opportunity to work with, both as a reporter and as a Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.   While other professional organizations are holding end of year parties, I felt it is an opportunity to invite these Great Minds to a roundtable, to discuss, brainstorm and review the administration of the Comrade Governor in the past seven years; to assess its successes, challenges and possibilities, especially on how to finish well and stronger, while winding down.   The journalist, as a versatile social worker in the society, interacts with both the very poor of the poor and the upper class. He has a grasp of most of the issues confronting the society, government and humanity.   The media practitioner does not just observe, investigate and reports his findings. Possessing the facts of any situation, the practitioner occupies a vantage position to insightfully analyse, and even provide prognoses of developments in their immediate work environment.   It is in appreciation of these important roles and vantage position of the journalist that motivated us to initiate a feedback mechanism and as such invite a wide spectrum of the Fourth Estate of the Realm to, among other issues, appraise the Government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in terms of successes, weaknesses and possible areas of improvement and expectations of the people in the twilight of the administration in areas of governance, development, and how to finish stronger.   Majorly, it is a sort of a feedback mechanism event which I think will further impact positively on the present administration and guide her to finishing well and stronger.   Like I said earlier, this event is designed to sharpen the mind of the journalist, and demonstrate that beyond the role of a watchdog, without which societal ills and their perpetrators will go unchecked, the journalist is in a very good position to evaluate and give advice on what government policies are appropriate to, and effective in a particular situation.   There is no doubt that the Adams Oshiomhole administration has opened the democratic space and brought governance to the doorsteps of the common man by demystifying it. It is not by accident that there has been a rise in political activism, and awareness of the processes of governance through protests, Town Hall meetings, Campaign for One Man, One Vote, Let the People Lead and open governance.   However, we cannot be judges in our own cause and as such I have decided to revert to my immediate constituency to undertake the task of soul-searching and reassessment which, I think, if properly harnessed could add value to governance, refocus and put her on a more solid foundation in order to achieve the best for the generality of the people.   In order to achieve the above-stated purpose, I consulted with the NUJ leadership and other veterans and consequently decided to invite two officials each from the various Chapels that make up the NUJ in the state. In addition, I have also decided to extend invitation to heads of TV and Radio stations and other living but retired veterans to be part of this robust Roundtable.   For an objective outcome, and unfettered contribution and deliberation, a moderator and a five-man panel will lead the Roundtable with two segments: (1) the past and It is, however, my intention that a communique will be issued by the panellists at the end of the Roundtable.   One of the core and most important expected takeaways from this Roundtable is the sense of belonging both the organizer and the participants will feel in contributing their expertise to the process of governance in the state, since the Roundtable is an avenue to speak to issues affecting the people whom government has responsibility to protect, secure and deliver good governance. It is also expected that this event will gauge the pulse and feelings of the citizens through the journalists on government policies, level of infrastructure development and future possibilities.   On a personal note, for me, it is a way of reporting back to my constituency on my voyage with government and to demonstrate my unity with them. In addition, it is my intention that this idea will be sustained as a channel of interaction and communication between the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the People and Government for the purpose of good governance and economic justice in Edo State, and Nigeria at large.     Thank You.     JOHN MAYAKI

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