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NUJ Media Parley condemns dehumanisation by security agents on S’East highways

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NIGERIA Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone C (South East Zone), after its 2021 Anambra Media Parley, with the theme: ‘Media, Security and Sustainable Development- A Focus on the South East Geo-Political Zone, held in Awka, has condemned the continued dehumanisation of Igbo people traveling on the highways within the South East, particularly along the Ihiala – Amorka- Mgbidi – Awomama axis of the Onitsha- Owerri Road, by security agencies.

  The communique, signed by Chief  Innocent Igwem, National Trustee Zone C NUJ, Titus Eleweke of  Anambra NUJ, Chief Chris Akaraonyem, Chairman NUJ, Imo State Council, Nweke Nweke of Anambra NUJ and Francis Ekpone, Chairman NUJ, Anambra Council, condemned a situation whereby the security operatives on the roads in the South East treat Igbo people traveling on these roads in their homeland with utmost disdain, extreme humiliation, intimidation and unfathomable harassment which cannot be attempted or contemplated in any other part of Nigeria.

  The participants wondered why security personnel deployed on the highways to ensure safety of travelers and other road users force Igbo passengers, including revered royal fathers and distinguished political leaders to alight from their vehicles and raise up their hands before they are allowed to cross the check points.

  They called on the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and South East leaders of NUJ to meet the state governors in the zone to quickly intervene to stop the ugly, painful and unimaginable development to save innocent travelers this agonising humiliation before the situation gets out of hand.

  On the 2023 Presidential Election, the participants enjoined Ohaneze Ndigbo to as a matter of necessity and urgency, reach out to other geo political zones for their support on the imperatives of Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.

 They called on well to do Igbo people to invest in the media by particularly establishing television, radio and newspapers with a very wide reach  in order to advance the Igbo course and tell the Igbo story in the Nigerian context, even as they called on qualified Igbo politicians interested in the 2023 Presidential Election to begin to show interest, consult widely, seek support and mobilise for the race as time is fast running out.

   They urged media practitioners in the zone to step up efforts towards sensitising Igbo elites on the need to partner them for sustainable development of Igboland.

  The participants equally called on South East Governors to always partner and effectively empower the Ohaneze Ndigbo to enable her weather the storms and live up to the onerous responsibilities entrusted on it as the apex Igbo organisation.

  Meanwhile Vice President of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene, while speaking at the event, challenged journalists, especially those of Igbo extraction to work professionally with everything within their powers to create a better society.

  According to him, the dream of a president of Igbo extraction will remain a mirage without a vibrant, patriotic and committed press.

  “Even though we know about the poor conditions of service our Journalists are subjected to in the course of performing their duties, there’s still the need for them to step up the fight for a better egalitarian society”

  He stated that getting a president of Igbo extraction in 2023 is a project that must be pursued with all manner of seriousness, but regretted that some prominent Igbo people are staying aloof over it.

  The Ohaneze Ndigbo Vice President, who was the chairman of the occasion, advised Ndigbo to ensure that only Igbos with good records should be allowed and supported to lead the country, come 2023. He also urged the press to be in the fore front of the efforts to release Nnamdi Kanu from detention.

  Vice President of Zone C of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Sir Emmanuel Ifesinachi said that the program was organised to expose the danger media practitioners go through in the discharge of their duties.

  He specifically picked the gubernatorial candidate of PDP in the last Anambra State election , Chief Valentine Ozigbo for commendation over his media friendliness and challenged other Nigerians to always help journalists to do their watchdog role in the society.

Chief Ozigbo, who received a meritorious award for his role in the socio, economic and political development of the country, described the press as very important stakeholders in the development of the country and urged them not to relent.

  “The problem of this country is leadership. We don’t take responsibilities We are the collective cause of the problems the country is facing. Nigerians must stop playing blame games and take responsibility for their action”, Ozigbo stated.

  In his Keynote address, Prof. Allen Adum expressed the view that the major responsibility of government is to protect lives and properties of the citizenry, stating that any government that fails to do so is a failed one, and the country a failed state.

  He advised journalists to shun activism in their reportage and act as professionals by removing all forms of sentiments from their reports.” The citizenry may not hold government accountable, but the press can. That is why the media is an important instrument of development”, he posited.

  Contributing during the parley, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, Sir Chika Nnabuife ,who was the Guest of Honour advised journalists to always live above board while discharging their duties, stressing that no professional journalist has any reason taking sides in any matter he is reporting.

  Among other dignitaries that graced the occasion were Prof. Stella Okunna, Chairmen and Secretaries of all NUJ Councils in the Southeast.

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