The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Abia, Mustapha Bala, has charged journalists to be professional in their management of information, so as not to incite or escalate crisis, especially during the 2023 general elections.
He made the appeal when members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia council, paid him a courtesy visit in Umuahia, on Friday.
Bala said that proper information management is one the qualities of a good leader, indicating that “There are some information that are not meant for public consumption, so you need to manage it at your own level.
“By managing it, you are saving lives and saving society. But if you release it, you put fire and before we quench that fire the damage must have been done.
“That is why we need to carry you along in the management of information, management and resolving of crisis as well as solving of problems.”
Bala lamented that there had been a series of complaints and reports with the social media platforms as a result of unverifiable reports.
He, therefore, urged journalists not to hesitate in confirming any information or complaints from the police before publication, saying “by the time you do that and professionally you are balancing your report.
He urged journalists to synergise with the police for a peaceful and credible 2023 polls, while describing them as critical stakeholders in election management.
“You are the watchdog of the society but you are our own mirror, please, don’t mirror us negatively,” he said.
Bala, who assumed office as the CP in Abia barely one month ago, appealed to journalists to carry the police along “as we promise to carry you along”.
He promised to run an open-door policy, saying that journalists would be engaged in all the political activities and operations of the command.
He thanked journalists for their good coverage during the recent visit of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to the state.
“The IGP, out of his magnanimity even allocated some operational equipment, including vehicles to us just because of the way you professionally handled his visit,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of Correspondents Chapel, Chief Obinna Ibe, said the visit was to officially welcome the CP as well as seek partnership with the command for the 2023 election.
“We are here, we have helped other CPs before you to succeed and we are ready to work with you, for you to succeed as well,” Ibe pledged.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bala took over from Janet Agbede as the 32nd CP of Abia. (NAN)