By Stanley Nwanosike
Chief Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, a chieftain of the United Progressive Party (UPP), has called on journalists to desist from promoting corrupt politicians.
Okonkwo said on Thursday at the inauguration of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondents’ Chapel new secretariat in Enugu
said that journalists should differentiate between journalism and public relations.
In a speech entitled “The Power of the Media Journalism, is Not for Public Relations’’, Okonkwo said: “Obviously, the problem the press (journalists) is having with the society and the politicians stem from when the journalist abandons his job description and assumes that of a public relations practitioner.’’
According to him, a journalist is responsible for gathering and selecting information in order to educate the public.
“This news is not meant to sway the public opinion to a certain direction.
“Because of this, journalists write for a mass audience and publish their work through only one medium depending on where they work,’’ he said.
The UPP chieftain said that the job of journalists had now been expanded to fight corruption in the political parties, adding that the parties are the foundation of corruption in Nigeria’s leadership.
“I enjoin the journalist to take a look at our electoral laws and the Nigerian Constitution to challenge our party managers for them to shun corruption and pursue excellence.
“I charge the press (journalists) to educate the citizens to defend democracy and reject corrupt tendencies,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Chairman NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel Enugu, Mr Petrus Obi, commended the support of the state government towards the operations of the journalists in the state.
Obi said that his executive had achieved its campaign promises of renting an office, buying a bus and up-lifting the welfare of members of the chapel in general.
The chapel honoured Prince Lawrence Eze, an industrialist from Mburubu community in Nkanu East Local Government Area for his philanthropic gestures and community development efforts.
Responding after receiving the “Award of Excellence for Community Service’’, Eze urged journalists to continue to hold leaders accountable for the growth, development and welfare of the people.
“As the chairman of the chapel had kept his election promises; so likewise each politician must strive to keep their promises and bond with the people,’’ he said.