By Joseph Edegbo –
The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chief Chris Isiguzo has enjoined journalists in the country to hold politicians accountable for their campaign promises and manifestos as the nation enters the electioneering season.
This is by ensuring that the promises were brought to reality when they assumed office instead of the usual rhetoric or emptiness.
The NUJ President was speaking at the weekend in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, during the occasion of Award and Lecture ceremony organised by the State Council of the Union
The theme of the lecture was “Media Role in Political Campaigns, Election and Crisis Management”.
Isiguzo said the ongoing political campaigns season is an issue which needs critical attention by journalists in holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises and manifestations by following up to ensure they were brought to fruitful.
Politicians, he noted, will like to use journalists in achieving their interests by propagating hate speeches and other unhealthy political utterances and acts.
“It is important as Journalists we uphold the virtue of being responsible; we must not be carried away by peculiarities of marchandise considerations of interest.
“As journalists, we must ensure that after campaigns, we have a country that works for us in ensuring that it takes us to the next level of accountability and good governance.”
On insecurity in the country which he described as worrisome, Isiguzo tasked journalists to be united as Nigerians in fighting the nation’s enemies to standstill.
‘In achieving what we deserve as Nigerians the bulk of responsibilities shouldn’t be left to only the government but also to the citizens, especially journalists who have greater role to play by setting up agendas”.
“In working together and being united as Nigerians, the government required journalists in providing intelligence and information which would direct its policies for the wellbeing of the common man”, he emphasized.
Isuguzo then appealed to his colleagues and Nigerians in general to give necessary support to state actors in the fight against insecurity and other menace confronting the nation.
The Chairman of the Council, Hajiya Asma’u Halilu in her address of welcome, had explained that the theme of the lecture was apt and necessary because it would guide members on how to report elections and crisis as events unfold during the electioneering period
“We must try at all cost to remain neutral and distance ourselves from participating or aligning with political parties when writing stories.
“We are optimistic that after the lecture, our members will learn something new and put them to use”, she said.
Enumerating the laudable and numerous achievements recorded within the short period in office, Hajia Asmau Halilu pointed out that the Union Secretariat was now wearing a new look with serene and habitable environment with beautiful flowers and trimmed trees.
She attributed this giant strides which had been acknowledged by the NUJ President and other dignitaries, to the immense support being enjoyed from partners both in the formal and informal sector who graciously extended their good will to the Union in various ways.
“Management of the Nigerian Breweries have been kind to us, they respond to our needs swiftly and have at all times provided us with drinks. “We shall forever thank them and cherish this rear gesture in the current economic reality facing almost all sectors in the country”, she said.
Hajia Asmau said to uphold unity and encourage peaceful coexistence among members, the Council provided office for Correspondents’ Chapel while foundation has been laid to build offices for NAWOJ and SWAN.
When completed, she said, it would not only centralize their operations but would go along way in improving the existing relationship as members of One family, the NUJ.