The Chairman of Independent Newspaper Publishers Association (INPA), Amb Shirley Munonye has revealed why Newspaper Publishers in Imo State didn’t honour Governor Hope Uzodinma’s invitation to a meeting with him at Government House Owerri on Wednesday.

Amb Munonye disclosed that, “members of INPA were duly invited but because government had on several occasions in the past shown disdain to publishers who as employers of labour should be accorded due respect and recognition.

She recalled an incident that occurred at about this same time last year when the governor invited members of INPA to a meeting that was supposed to start several hours earlier but the governor didn’t show up till Midnight before our colleagues started leaving the Government house. “To worsen matters, the governor didn’t show remorse or offer explanation for keeping Imo publishers stranded.

“It was also gathered that as if adding insult to injury, some overzealous appointees of government, shortly after that, assembled some self-acclaimed Publishers whose tabloids are not regular on the newsstands and are not registered members of INPA to discredit the association. Because they have refused to accord the association which is the 3rd  highest employer of labour in the state its due respect, that is why all known and credible members of the association who are regular at the news stand including Nigeria Watchdog , Newpoint, The Horn, Announce Express, The Onion, Frontline Trumpeta Newspapers , etc were conspicuously absent at the meeting. 

These are the media outfits that have remained unbiased, professional and ethical in their reportage. Hence the overzealous agents and appointees of government in a bid to deceive the government that it has the support of Imo publishers assembled the few on their payroll to feather their nests.

“Much as we are not against the government, we insist that the right and proper things should be done the right way.”

Information available to our news desk reveals that at the meeting held in government house on Wednesday , dissident Chairman of the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba’s faction of Imo NUJ and Dorathy Nnaji, factional chairman of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) accompanied by few journalists who are propelled by gluttonous appetite for stomach infrastructure were present at the meeting were they were later given handouts.

This gesture is said to have triggered agitation among members of the Correspondents’ Chapel who as core journalists described the entire exercise as a charade and a bait to further induce the gullible, naïve and cheap non-professionals into mortgaging their conscience and toeing the ignoble path of infamy.”