The Publisher, Editorial Board Members, entire management and staff of Gbaramatu Publishing Company Limited, owners of GbaramatuVoice Newspaper will mark their 6th Anniversary on August 10, 2021.
Essentially, series of programmes shall be used to mark the anniversary. They include but not limited to Anniversary lecture entitled: Dwindling State of Crude Oil Demand in the Global Market: The Way Forward, to be delivered by His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, will be the Special Guest Of Honour; the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, as host; the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sawoolu, as Chief Host; Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Executive Governor of Kogi State, Guest of Honour, while Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, The Executive Governor of Delta state, will Chair the occasion.
The celebration offers us yet another great opportunity to look back and be able to be more productive onward.
Again, it is equally a common knowledge that the GbaramatuVoice has within this period of six years in operation expanded into a media group that currently accommodates the realities of new media, especially on the digital platforms, such as the GbaramatuVoice Television, alongside social media like facebook, Instagram, youtube etc.
What is however, newsy about the present discourse is that the celebration more than anything else, offers a unique opportunity for the GbramatuVoice family to tell our stories of how we conquered our fears to become a great media organization of repute. And essentially avails us the great opportunity to look into the future to set an agenda to launch a Resource Centre for Niger Delta Studies as well as a media institute where fresh graduates from the region interested in media practices shall be trained on different media skills for self reliance.
How the idea was incubated
Like George Soros, who at a time noted that every society needs some shared values to hold it together, that when such values disappear, the society becomes a mere simple equation without meaning; likewise, the Publisher of the Gbaramatuvoice, Mr. Jacob Abai, in early 2015, watched with pains how the media professionals, in their search for new but personal fields to increase their wealth and wellbeing, opted out of their primary mandate of objective reportage to become a willing tool in the hands of political, and socioeconomic gladiators.
This particular concern was more worrisome and worrying when it comes to reporting the International Oil Companies’ (IOCs) activities as they pertain to crude oil exploration and production as well as failures of state actors (government agencies) to effectively monitor/regulate such ill actions- a state of affairs that left the people of Niger Delta region/coastal dwellers as both victims and “witnesses to tears”. (Abubakar Gimba).
To change these narratives and correct some misinformation, innuendos and distrusts about the region and its people being projected to the wider world, the idea of Gbaramatuvoice was conceived on that day, at that time and in that place.
Though, Abai is a faith-based man who always put God first in all he does and whose habit of giving/generosity, many characterize as legendary. That notwithstanding, people who knew about his intention gave him neither the needed support nor a chance to succeed. They were skeptical about how possible it would be for him to do magic this time around.
But as native wisdom proclaims, ‘the protestation of the innocent chick does not prevent or stall the sacrifice. If anything, the protestations enriched the sacrifice and hastened its value and efficacy. Likewise, the flood of oppositions did not stop Abai from plunging into GbaramatuVoice Newspaper publication. Rather, such a doubt and oppositions acted as a tonic. He prayed to God for direction and held on to honesty as his hardest currency while working night and day, in order to ensure that the Newspaper hits the newsstand. He started by reporting highlights, and analyzes of current affairs/events and topical issues happening in the Niger Delta region that was of interest to the people especially in the environmental, political and community leadership.
Vision, Mission and Core Values
In preparation for its emergence as the flagship of an objective news organization in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria, the proponent came up with a well crafted clear vision. Simply put: to be recognized as the leading and most trusted newspaper, reaching people no matter who or where they are.
Its mission was equally clear enough and assisted. Among other things, it include: To deliver captivating content from the South-South to the world which informs, inspires and entertains through — Engaging talented, creative and spirited people, Reaching deeper, broader and closer with our content, platforms and interactions, Rebalancing global media by respecting the diversity and humanity of the world, Giving a voice to the voiceless people of the South-South, Achieving outstanding results efficiently.
GbaramatuVoice Hits Newsstand
Established in August 2015, GbaramatuVoice has grown into a global multi-media organization with newspapers, websites and apps serving millions of readers around the world. As an important media in the Niger Delta, GbaramatuVoice shoulders an even more significant responsibility as it continues its quest to connect Niger Delta communities and the world in communication while acting as a bridge.
Its Fundamental Principles
Like every media organization true to its name, the GbaramatuVoice from inception declared that it will continually support the fundamental needs of the country, and, the positive purpose of the elected government if it will not in any way dent/obstruct the media’s primary responsibility to the masses in a democratic society which among others include -inculcating and reinforcing positive political, cultural, social attitudes among the citizenries. Create a mood in which people become keen to acquire skills and disciplines of developed nations.
The Newspaper management was also laced with the understanding that to do well in the job of information dissemination, they are to watch and not to be watched over. They are to watch over crimes, injustices, malpractices, and every other act that is deemed unfair and unlawful. Professionally, they are competent to carry out their duties as the fourth estate of the realm. As watchdogs of the society, they have since internalized the idea that they are not the kind of dogs with ropes tied round their necks.
The fact that they are watchdogs “means they know what to do, where they are going, and how to discharge their duties as when due. That is, their decision and direction should not be dictated by any force or power whatsoever”.
What Worked For GbaramatuVoice
Out of many, there exists very critical area worthy of mention -that is the Newspaper’s management philosophy of using the annual lecture and merit award instituted about six years ago to promoting national unity/cohesion and build bridges of harmony across geopolitical zones in the country. This thinking explains why Abuja Transcorp Hilton played host to our fourth edition, Port Harcourt in Hotel Presidential and now slated for Lagos.
Aside from locations and promotion of national unity/cohesion, we have often always, to the admiration of stakeholders, used the opportunity provided by the annual lecture to craft for discussion, topics relevant to the nation’s socioeconomic development and critical research areas that proffers array of solution to the Niger Delta challenge.
Secondly GbaramatuVoice made use of professionally trained journalists who understand, and are dedicated to the Niger Delta course while collaborating with national and international media organizations.