*calls on security agencies to see journalists as friends, stop harassment, molestation
By; MKPUMA ENYINNA, Abakaliki
As part of the activities to mark 2022 press week, the Correspondents Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ebonyi State Chapter has pledged to be partners in the growth and development of Ebonyi State, while calling on security agencies in the state to see journalists as friends and desist from all forms of harassment and molestation against media practitioners while discharging their lawful duties, but should ensure their protection just like every other citizens of Nigeria.
The chairman of Correspondents Chapel of NUJ, Ebonyi State Chapter, Comrade Samson Nwafor made this known in Abakaliki during a press conference organized as part of activities lined up to mark 2022 press week, calling on journalists in the state to strictly abide by the ethics of the profession and shun fake news, most especially this period that election is around the corner.
Comrade Nwafor while commending the outstanding performance of Governor David Umahi in changing the history of Ebonyi State, lauded the governor for the cordial relationship that has been existing between they journalists and Ebonyi State Government, stating that Correspondents Chapel of NUJ, Ebonyi State is ready to partner in the growth and development of Ebonyi State through fair and objective news reportage.
He therefore, called on security agencies in the state to see journalists as friends and desist from all forms of harassment, assault and molestation, but do everything possible to protect them just like other citizens of the country, since they are all working hard for the good, and betterment of the country.
“The Chapel Leadership after a critical review of the performance of members, applauded them for being good ambassadors and called on them to continue to adhere strictly to the ethics of hournalism profession in the discharge of their lawful duties, especially as the 2023 general election is around the corner.
“Correspondents should shun fake news and ensure they crosscheck facts always, bearing in mind the critical role we play in the society.
“The Chapel also seizes this opportunity to call on the law enforcement agents in the state to always see journalists as friends, and desist from harassing and/or assaulting them while discharging their lawful duties. Security agents should know that journalists like other citizens of Nigeria, deserve protection, not molestation from them.
“We urge that internal mechanism for discipline in NUJ be explored whenever any journalist is found wanting.
“We wish to specifically acknowledge the robust cordial relationship that has been existing between journalists and the Ebonyi State Government led by Governor David Umahi, and therefore, commended very highly, the Governor for creating the enabling environment for us to discharge our duties in the state. I want to assure the government and the good people of Ebonyi State, that correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, Ebonyi State, under my leadership, would continue to be partners in the growth and development of Ebonyi State, through objective reportage,” he said.
The chairman further explained that press week is an annual ritual and a period where journalists take stock of their operations and review their activities in order to add more value to the society, adding that the theme of this year’s press week is, “Time To Deepen Media Involvement In Nigeria’s Democracy.”
He also urged political actors in the state to play by the rules of the electoral guidelines and avoid any action that would jeopardize the relative peace they have in the state.
“As you are aware, press week is an annual ritual in the journalism profession. It is a period we take stock of our operations as journalists to know how we have faired in the year under review. It affords us the opportunity to underscore how our operations have impacted positively or otherwise on the society by feeling the pulse of the people and brainstorming on how to best improve and move forward, for the betterment of the society. It’s also a period we invite our friends from all walks of life to dine and wine with us, encourage and advise us where necessary.
“It is on the strength of this that the Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, Ebonyi State, a body of journalists of both print and electronic media, whose head offices are outside Ebonyi State, religiously observe this important event annually.
“As preparations for the 2023 general election gathers momentum, we call on the political actors in Ebonyi State to play by the rules, and shun actions that are capable of jeopardizing the relative peace existing in the state.
“We also call on the youth to shun thuggery and violence as doing so, constitutes grave consequences to the future of Nigeria. We further call on Ebonyians to ensure they participate fully in choosing their leaders in the upcoming general elections, by making sure they register and obtain their voters card now that the registration is ongoing, across the state.
“As the theme of this year’s press week aptly captures, the time has come to deepen Media involvement in Nigeria’s Democracy, if we desire to make a meaningful progress, as a nation.
The press conference was attended by journalists from different media houses from different parts of the state.