The Abia state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, on Friday, hosted the National Executive Council meeting of the NUJ which was targeted at addressing issues of security and welfare of its members.
Speaking at the NEC meeting held at the Okpara auditorium, Umuahia, the Governor of Abia state, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. (Sir) Ude Oko Chukwu, commended members of the NUJ for their pivotal role in the sustenance of peace, security and stability of the nation’a democracy.
He stated that the government of the state is committed towards ensuring the completion of the NUJ secretariat whose foundation was laid five (5) years ago, assuring of government’s commitment to further grow the good relationship between NUJ and the state government in terms of its partnership with its members in the state which will continue to exist. He stated that the good relationship between the state and NUJ was obvious with the recent appointment of two NUJ members as Permanent Secretaries in the state.
He further noted that the state government enjoys good working relationship with security agencies in the state which contributed to Abia being one of the most peaceful states in the Federation.
Sir Oko Chukwu assured that the government will continue in same positive trajectory to ensure further improvements in security of the people and visitors to the state. He commended the NUJ for the positive contributions of the members during the 2019 General election and assured them of the readiness of the state government to enhance the partnership with NUJ while urging members of the union to continue to do their best by writing on issues that promote oneness of the people and de-emphasize on stories that tend to tear the people apart.
Speaking earlier at the event, the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, expressed appreciation to members of the NUJ for electing Comrade Isiguzo, whom he described as a great son of the soil, as their national President and assured that he will certainly make the NUJ proud by leaving great legacies.
He further tasked NUJ members on professionalism in the discharge of their duties noting that Abia State under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu will continue to provide the best operational environment for journalists to perform their duties without fear of persecution or state censorship and called on members of NUJ to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring that they report events accurately as well as balance their stories to avoid being used as tools by politicians fighting personal battles with their opponents.
Also Speaking, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, noted that the most excruciating challenge facing journalism in Nigeria today is the safety and welfare of its practitioners. He informed that the union has put in place several platforms in order to ensure safety and better conditions of service for her members and intends to do more through synergy with all stakeholders in the media as well as agents of the state.
He further called on the Federal and state Governments to rise up against insurgency and protect the lives and property of citizens of the country in line with their constitutional obligations.
He also appealed to Abia state government to come to the aid of the union with the completion of its permanent secretariat which was began some years ago so as to further enhance the intellectual capacity of its members.
-Cynthia Nwachukwu Chinomso reports