“In line with the disposition of the national leadership of our great union, the state council has directed that no journalist should attend a media parley with Femi Fani-Kayode or any of his activity at any location in Akwa Ibom state.”
The above decision taken by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to blacklist the ex-minister is not just enough; not just enough because the primary responsibility of a journalist is to hold government accountable in all of its activities.
Journalists serve as intermediary between the government and the governed, therefore, I have seen no reason why the NUJ should take such a decision.
Does that mean that the ex-minister will be working without the press or what? If that could happen then what is the fate of Oyo state people and Nigerians in general for knowing what exactly the ex-minister is doing hence the state governor made him to be executing the state projects?
Therefore, if that is the case, democracy has no place in Nigeria. That isn’t democracy at all, if the NUJ can deny journalists from covering what the ex-minister is doing then there is no need for journalists to cover any event in Nigeria because doing so can still create another problem that will lead to the blacklisting of another person and if that continues, one day journalists would lack a role to play which is undemocratic.
Still, the action is denying people access to information indirectly or does that mean he escaped the question asked by Charles and will not explain? People are eager to know who exactly is “bankrolling” the ex-minister’s tours.
To me, it’s impossible because we are still waiting for Mr Fani-Kayode to answer the question, and failure to do so, we will consider him as such a person embezzling public funds for no reason.
The fact that journalists will be harassed and intimidated for asking such a question then there won’t be a free flow of information to the public and that’s what they are there for; what happened to Eyo Charles was a dirty slap to the Nigerian journalists to the core and if care is not taken it will keep degrading the image of Nigerian journalists.
Already, rumours of various kinds were spread and still spreading that the journalist had demanded something different from the ex-minister, though there are footages of the events; then what do you think will happen to Nigerian journalists when they are already accused of not giving accurate information of the nation’s daily happenings, especially from the government angle.
Do Nigerian journalists want to show people they after the brown envelope or what? If not why shouldn’t they take a very quick action by calling on the entire nation’s journalists to stop covering any news till authorities decides.
However, not to hold him to account of his actions is not the case but how long it will last? The image of the profession is getting spoiled and you are trying to prove journalists are after the brown envelope because the behaviour shown by those journalists at the scene of the event has proven that brown envelope is still in existence.
Therefore, the Nigeria Union of Journalists should understand that journalism as profession prohibits that because it hinders the principles guiding the discipline and, therefore, the union needs to take tougher measures on any one willing or trying to expose the profession to ridicule.
The union should call a conference inviting government and the major stakeholders nationwide to put an end to this barbaric act because this isn’t the first time such thing has happened and no action has been taken yet which is the reason behind such a problem.
I believe that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” people that spend time to bring unity, progress and foster accountability between the government and the governed will never be stupid, as he said. And to me it’s so obvious because I personally never expected such words from him, though he has already apologised.
Finally, the Nigeria Union of Journalists should take a decisive action on any one who insults a journalist in such a way because journalists are working for the masses not a specific person. If government officials or anybody will insult, intimidate and harass journalists how can we achieve transparency and accountability in government? Ukasha Rabiu,Kano