The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called for greater collaboration between the Senate and journalists in the country for the sustenance of democracy.
Saraki made the call at the “Senate Press Corps 2016 Award’’ for senators and journalists covering the Senate on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the Senate Press Corps was a partner in Nigeria’s democracy and as such, should cooperate with the Senate to achieve greater results.
He added that “it is the responsibility of the press to get the message across to the people we represent.
“It is very clear that the sustainability of our country depends on efficiency and sustainability of the National Assembly.
“We urge the press to help us to carry out this vital assignment.”
Saraki also stressed the need for the Senate and journalist to work together.
He said “the Senate truly believes in partnership and we believe that whatever we do to the Press Corps, we are doing it to make sure that you help us in our image.”
He congratulated the recipients of the Senate Press Corps Award, saying the recipients had contributed a lot to the development of the Senate.
In a goodwill message, Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno), said that the relationship between the press and the National Assembly was very important.
He said “we want to have this type of occasion regularly. I believe that interactions like this should be coming up more frequent, to know ourselves very well.”
Ndume added that the Senate should be seen as an institution that everybody has a stake to build.
He noted that the 8th Senate had been a transparent institution and urged the press to be objective in its reportage of the activities of the upper chamber.
Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Press Corps, Mr Cosmas Ekpunobi, said that the corps was “the biggest corps of the biggest senate in the world.’’
He said the 2016 award was the second edition, while the first award was held in 2014 with 17 senators as recipients.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2016 award recipients include Senators Mohammed Ndume, Andy Uba, Dino Melaye, Abiodun Olujimi, Samuel Anyanwu, Kabiru Gaya, Eyinnaya Abaribe.
Others are Senators Barnabas Gemade, Olugbenga Ashafa, Ahmad Lawan, David Mark and Olayide Adelami, the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Procurement, Estate and Works in the National Assembly.
In the categories of award for journalists, James Itodo of FRCN got the Senate Reporter of the Year (Radio) and Mr Sumner Sambo of TVC got the Senate Reporter of the year (TV).
Mr Ismail Madashir of Daily Trust got the Senate Investigative Journalist of the year.
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“We will work for the progress of our country, Nigeria,’’ Melaye said.
Sen. Dino Melaye thanked the organisers of the event, saying that the award would spur them to do better.