Mr Chris Isiguzo, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his renewed determination to bring an end to the security challenges ravaging parts of the country.
Isoguzo gave the commendation his address of welcome at the 7th Triennial Delegates Conference of the Union on Thursday in Umuahia, Abia.
The theme of the conference is, ”The Role of The Media In Times of National Renewal.”
Isiguzo also lauded the courage and professionalism of the Nigerian Armed Forces and appeal to Nigerians to unite against terrorism and other acts of insecurity.
“We appreciate the fact that government has adopted new approaches that will tackle insecurity in the country.”
“We urge that additional strategies be adopted to address the specific political, economic, and social challenges that encourage these security problems in general and the potential solutions that reduce them as the most reliable way forward.”
“Similarly, we encourage the government to listen to suggestions from well meaning citizens who provide credible and workable alternative options in dealing with the devastating security situation and urge government to be tolerant in dealing with the anger and frustration of the citizens,” Isiguzo said.
He, however, said that the significance of the media as an effective tool for solving security challenges in the country could not be wished away.
According to him, it is in this regard that the union frown at the various comments of some highly placed government officials that accuse the media of over-blowing security challenges in the country before the international community.
“We caution that lack of adequate information can, at any stage of a conflict, make people desperate, restless and easy to manipulate.”
“However, there is also the need for caution on the part of media practitioners, particularly in the South-East to be more circumspect in the news they disseminate to the public concerning the insecurity in the region.”
“The news being churned out to the other parts of the country with regards to the insecurity situation in the region is far from the reality on ground,” Isiguzo said.
He noted that in the three years of dedicated and results oriented service, the Central Working Committee of the Union was proud to reel out records of achievements that include several training and retraining of Journalists including bilateral foreign programmes.
“Specifically, the NUJ is engaging in training and retraining of Journalists with assistance from various development partners to build capacity of journalists to effectively bring to public attention humanitarian situations in the country in a fair manner, honestly, and constructively.”
Isiguzo equally called on Journalists to be careful not to be tempted into propagating fake news by ensuring proper and adequate checks before stories are written and transmitted for public consumption.
Speaking, the first National President of the NUJ, Mr George Izobo, urged Journalists to stay united and continue to uphold the integrity of the union.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Abia State, Mr Okezie Ikpeazu, appreciated the Union for choosing Abia to hold its National Congress.
The governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Works, Mr Bob Ogwu urged the NUJ to continue to hold the government accountable for the safety of the people.
On his part, the Abia State Commissioner for Information, Mr John Kalu, appealed to participants to explore the opportunities in the state and patronise made in Nigeria goods manufactured in Abia State.
In a paper titled “The Media in Times of National Renewal”, the Guest Speaker, Mr Emma Agu, advised Journalists to continue to unite for the good of the union.