The Nigerian government and the media have been called upon to synergize in the fight against insecurity, corruption, banditry, kidnapping, underdevelopment, despondency and other vices ravaging the country.
A foremost media personality and practitioner, Chief VinMartin Ilo, made the call in a keynote address at the maiden edition, Lecture Series, of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Enugu State Council in Enugu.
Chief Ilo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Signaturetv, owners of the popular Signature-Show on Africa Independent Television, AIT, said it has become imperative for collaboration between leaders, the media and the society.
”So when we look at what is happening to us as a country, the humongous corruption, insecurity, the ethnic and religious divisions, underdevelopment and the unprecedented despondency, it has become imperative more than ever before for collaboration between leaders, the media, and society,” he advised.
Ilo lamented that the unending battle between the media and the ruling class often affects society negatively and enjoined the two groups to work together for the good of the society.
He advised the media to adopt a paradigm approach and ”sense of nation” that would assist the government to uplift the country’s development, eradicate corruption and insecurity as well as contribute to improving the quality of life of Nigerians.
Chief VinMartin Ilo called on the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to wade into the crisis rocking the Enugu State Council of the NUJ, noting that the centre has been turned into a ”market place of hotels, beer parlours, and shops with leases that will last a lifetime”.
”The Press Centre is a shadow of its old self and rather than being a centre for intellectual thought and writing and a market place of ideas, it has become a market place of hotels, beer parlours and shops with leases that will last a lifetime,” he noted.
In her speech Prof. Stella Okunna, formost Mass Communications teacher and former Commissioner for Information, Anambra State urged those in positions of authority to create a conducive atmosphere for journalism to thrive stressing that no society can survive without the media.
Speaking on the topic, Journalism in Nigeria: Journey of an Endangered Profession ” she described the media as the oxygen of democracy and a necessary institution for the development and growth of society.
Professor Okunna called out media owners and entrepreneurs for the non payment of staff salaries and emoluments, a development she said contributed to the unprofessional conduct of some practitioners.
He advised journalists to do their work with passion and patriotism, always bearing in mind the enormous responsibility they carry on their shoulders on behalf of society.
She said practitioners must not forget they belong to a noble profession and should exhibit, commitment, self esteem and self confidence at all times, that way, no one will intimidate them or take them for granted.
Earlier in his address of welcome the Chairman of NUJ, Enugu Council Rex Arum said the lecture series was in fulfilment of their agenda-setting responsibility, promising that through the lecture platform the Council would put societal challenges on the front burner.
He called on some members who found pleasure in working against the interests of the NUJ to purge themselves of such conduct and join hands with the leadership of the Enugu Council to improve the wellbeing of journalists in the State.
The theme of the NUJ Enugu State Council lecture which featured notable media scholars and authorities like Professor Stella Okunna, former Commissioner for Information, Anambra State and Mass Communication lecturer, is ”Promoting Synergy between the Media, Ruling Class and the Society.”
The event was held in Enugu on Thursday.