· Why Okorocha should apologize to Imo Journalists-Nwadike
The Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council which started on Friday December 10, 2021 with a radio talk sensitizing the public about the event, a special congress where the Precious Nwadike-led Caretaker Committee gave account of its stewardship, and a church service at Catholic Charismatic Renewal Ministry, Egbu ended on Friday, December, 17, with the unveiling of the Union’s Diamond hall, cyber café and restaurant. The Friday grand finale of the Press Week also featured conferrement of awards of honour on three deserving personalities, namely Chief Ben Osuagwu, Chief Anthony Okoroigwe and Comrade F.I. Agba.
Speaking at the event, Chairman, Planning Committee of the Imo NUJ Press Week, Chief Afam Echi expressed delight at the level of success recorded at the event. He said the restaurant would be fully functional in January while that of cyber café and the conference hall are already in use.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman Imo NUJ, Comrade Precious Nwadike in his speech, commended all those who in one way or the other contributed in making the programme a success. He also gave Imo Journalists kudos for exhibiting class, maturity and decorum all through the event.
He expressed gratitude to all those who spared time out of their busy schedules to attend the programme, pointing out that they have truly shown their commitment to the growth and development of the media industry.
He expressed disappointment at the way and manner the former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha allegedly attempted to buy the Union’s Secretariat along Port Harcourt Road, Owerri and called on him to tender unreserved apology to Imo journalists, who he subjected to unmitigated suffering, hardship and lack.
He noted that it was the former governor’s desperation to illegally acquire the secretariat that gave rise to misfits who should under normal circumstances have no business in journalism to parade themselves as journalists.
According to him, “journalism is a decent and revered profession practiced by those who are trained and qualified and not an all comers affair. But unfortunately, Okorocha because of his selfish motives created room for desperadoes like Akaraonye who doesn’t have any training or qualification in journalism” to aspire to the leadership of the NUJ.”
Ex-chairman of the union, Ben Osuagwu who was honoured as the most outstanding NUJ Chairman in recognition of his numerous contributions to the growth and development of the journalism profession, gave account of how he attracted the secretariat and commended those who struggled to foil attempts by some people to fraudulently sell the property.
Comrade F.I. Agba and Chief Anthony Okoroigwe who were honoured for consistent advocacy for good governance in the state and for attending and being active in union’s activities despite being a veteran respectively also spoke glowingly about the Nwadike-led Caretaker Committee.
Dr Chuks Osuji, a Public Relations guru and Ex-MANSER boss and Dr Kingsely Nworgu, Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri in their separate lectures, on “Imo NUJ in contemporary Nigeria” and Toward Ethical citizens journalism” respectively, highlighted the theme of the Press Week and called on journalists and media practitioners in the state to be firm, resolute and committed to the ideals and ethics of the profession despite pressure from different quarters.
Dr Osuji, however, regretted that most journalists are “finding it increasingly difficult to live above board, hence most of them now identify with people, especially politicians of questionable character and antecedents.”
Some dignitaries who graced the occasion, include, Dr. Desmond Echeta, immediate past chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo Chapter, representative of the HOD, Mass Communication, Imo State Polytechnic, Mrs Amaka Ihejirika, who led students of the department to the event; former President, Pam-African Youth Parliament, AMB. Obinna Sixtus Nwoke, National President;Ohaneze Youth Council, Igboanyika Igboanyika; Imo State chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Chidiebere Okwara who spoke on the need for journalists to be resolute and focused;Chairman of Imo state Independent Newspaper Publishers Association, Amb.Shirley Munonye, among others.