Professor Obiaraeri blasts Abia govt over neglect of journalists
By Steve Oko
Former Commissioner for Information Imo State, Professor Nnamdi Obiaraeri, has strongly criticised Abia State Government for the poor condition of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Press Centre.
Abia NUJ operates in a rented apartment at N0.1 Aba Road Umuahia, and is the only state council in Nigeria without a permanent secretariat.
Even though the immediate -past administration of Senator Theodore Orji had initiated a secretariat project at Ogurube New layout, work at the site is still at a skeletal stage.
Obiaraeri who was the guest lecturer at an event organised to mark the 2019 World’s Press Freedom Law expressed shock at the condition of press centre.
He said he was taken aback while approaching the centre wondering if he had missed his way.
The three -time Commissioner challenged the state Governor to build a befitting secretariat for Abia journalists to enable them carry out their trade in an ideal environment.
He recalled that under his watch as Information Commissioner in Imo State, Gov. Rochas Okorocha gave journalists a sense of belonging.
” As I was coming in here I was wondering what is happening here. Abia of all states? The Commissionioner and Governor can do better.
“I invite Abia Government to change the narrative here. In Imo State, Gov. Okorocha has taken journalism to a new pedestal.
” I am not saying Abia Governor is not doing well but he has not done well in this regard if this is Abia NUJ Press Centre.
“Why will you build big Local Government secretariats but won’t build a good NUJ secretariat?
“The Governor should remodel NUJ Press Centre. Assuming I have asked any of my big friends to accompany me to Abia for this lecture I would have been too ashamed to enter here with him.
” In fact what I would have done is to go and lodge him in one hotel and pretend that the occasion is not yet ready because this place is not benefiting for journalists “.
The Professor of Law said journalists sacrifice a lot for the people and deserve better working conditions.
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