By Chibuike Nwabuko
Rep Kalu said innovative media would help to achieve the kind of information management, public engagement and bringing the parliament closer to the people that the Speaker of the House of Representatives in this 9th Assembly, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila desires.
“The National Assembly has a very fragile image and that has been fueled by wrong narratives pushed through mediums that ordinarily suppose to be telling the stories the way they are. Technology makes the job easy. Technology makes access to information better, and faster. Technology makes you feel the piece of information as if you were there.
He however advised that Online does not restrict Online journalists to English language but what is more important is to be proficient in the language you are communicating with to be able to do pass the message effectively.
According to him, “If you want to write in any language, you must be proficient in the language So that the speakers of that language will understand you when you communicate. That you are online does not restrict you to only English language. You could be online in Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Urhobo, Ijaw, Ibibio or any of our indigenous languages.
“In fact, we are looking for how to engage the public in their own language or pidgin English. But anyone you want to use, it must be the one you are proficient in for better communication.
Adding that the National Assembly is a big institution and to report about it requires that you must be very good in what you do.
“The more transparent we become before the people we are representing, the more they understand through platforms of transparency, the more they understand what we do, the more we are accountable to them, the more the credibility of this institution will rise. And the more the credibility of this institution, the more the confidence of the citizens in this institution.
“The more confident the citizens are in this institution which remains the fulcrum of democracy, the more they believe in the principles of the rule of democracy because this is the backbone of democracy.
He stated that the reason why the public is attacking the National Assembly is because they don’t seem to understand what we are doing here. And that is why the leadership of the House came out with the Green Chamber magazine which is out there educating the public on the activities of the House of Representatives from the horses’ mouth. The magazine is out there telling our stories, not for the purpose of self-praise, but to change the narratives with the truth and not commercialized facts, or views. And it is working, whether that is enough, the answer is no. I know most of you are social media influencers, so strategic partnership with you means that the stake that you are holding, the New Media industry automatically becomes our mouthpiece, so we can speak through you.
Rep Kalu noted that in this era of eco-friendly because of climate change we can see that the less newspapers we print, the more trees we have in our forests. We can see that the less newspapers we use, the more friendly our environment.
So this is a critical action that the New Media is bringing to our environment. In the 9th House Legislative Agenda, we are encouraging “operation green,” we want to encourage eco-friendly environment. And to achieve that we have to begin to use less paper and more technology in the delivery of our information.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the National Assembly Online Media, Comrade Yemi Itodo said that the National Assembly Online Medium Forum members were in his office to congratulate him on his emergence as the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives and assured him of Forum’s readiness to work with him.