– Nigerian Journalists Urged to Drive National RenewalTHISDAYLIVE – THISDAY Newspapers
By Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo
Practising journalists in Nigeria were yesterday urged to take up the challenge of driving the process of national renewal to free Nigeria from all the negative forces and tendencies stalling national development, unity and cohesion.
The clarion call rang out at the opening ceremony of the 7th triennial delegates conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) being hosted in Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State.
Managing Director, True Vision Newspaper, Chief Emma Agu, led the call for media-driven national renewal saying that with the gravity of challenges confronting Nigeria presently national renewal has become inevitable.
“We need national renewal,” he asserted, adding that “the general feeling is that each time we take a step forward, we take another step backwards”.
Agu, in his key note address entitled, ‘The media in times of national renewal’ noted that despite the divergent opinions across the political divide on the way forward, there is a consensus that things had gone from bad to worse hence the need for renewal.
According to him, the general feeling now is that Nigeria should be taken back to the good old days of the first republic when the nation enjoyed quality education, gainful employment, robust economy and national security.
President of Vision Africa Radio, Bishop Sunday Onuoha while lending his voice to the call for national renewal, said that the “expired generation” of political leaders must be compelled to leave the stage for a new generation of leaders whose minds have not been polluted.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Works, Chief Bob Ogu, noted that Abia is very safe despite the general insecurity across the nation hence delegates should feel at home and conduct the business for which they came to Abia.
President of NUJ, Mr. Christopher Isiguzo, called on the federal government to adopt additional strategies in dealing with the problem of insecurity and also listen to wise counsel on the way forward.
“We urge that additional strategies be adopted to address the specific political, economic, and social challenges that encourage these problems in general and the potential solutions that reduce them as the most reliable way forward,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Ochiagha Regan Ufomba called for dialogue in overcoming the debilitating national challenges, adding that with effective communication, Nigerians would be able to understand one another and live in peace and harmony.