By James Lukpata
The need for information across the world and its relevance in human activities is akin to intake of food that nourishes the body when properly fed.
Just as the body won’t look healthy in the absence of balanced diet or sufficient rations, same goes to any society that has no adequate information in circulation through the right channels.
Ukelle the Yala II constituency and the entire Yala Local Government Area and indeed Cross River North Senatorial District has no media channels to disseminate information to the teeming population across the region. It’s worrisome that the indigenous people have no access to their own information on progress, struggle, achievements and challenges within their state due to complete absence of media outfits within the region.
As part of Cross River North Senatorial District Ukelle and indeed the Yala LGA as a whole have no privileged to hear their own story rather they heard about stories from neighbouring communities of Benue and Ebonyi including Enugu resulting to what Journalism teachers refers to as “Afghanistanism”, that is reporting stories about distance places at the expense of local ones.
Unarguably, the inherent power of information can never be under-valued as it contributes to personal development, grassroot sensitization, healthy living as well as providing education to the people on critical aspect of societal growth such as culture, religion, politics and skills acquisition including how to do things like house chores.
It is commonly said that “if you are not informed you are deformed”, therefore, the visible signs of underdevelopment and untapped potentials across the LGAs is largely attributed to lack of media presence to show case the people’s cultural heritage, available manpower, untapped potentials as well as telling the peoples’ story in their own way aside breaking news from other places.
Created in 1967, Cross River State has 18 LGAs with their intimidating sizes but limited resources and lack of government presence in most of these LGAs has continue to deny the people easy access to information about contemporary development that would have aided real development in the Northern Senatorial District.For example, Cross River State Broadcasting Cooperation in Ikom Local Government Area which is geographically designated at Cross River Central has poor coverage capacity to serve the information needs of the Northern Senatorial District which Yala LGA falls under.
Calabar the State capital just like other State capitals in Nigeria has continue to attract media presence at the expense of other LGAs located several miles away. Radio Stations like Hit FM, Paradise FM and CRBC can consider having correspondents or establishing sub-stations within any part of the Northern Senatorial District of the State to bridge the gab in information sharing as well as providing opportunity for the people to be able to tell their own story to quicken their drive for development.
An attempt was made around 1979 when a sub radio station was established at Ugagah Yala LGA to boost coverage but is no more today.