As the Campaigns for 2023 general elections begins in few days, journalists in the country have been charged to use their Pens and Mediums to unite the nation, educate Nigerians to make the right choices at the polls instead of causing division along ethnic or religious lines.
The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ and President, Council of African Journalists, CAJ, Chris Isiguzo who gave the charge at a special dinner and award presentations to climax the weeklong press week of the Katsina State NUJ Chapter and celebration of the State at 35, also reminded journalists to always ensure they interrogate those seeking for powers at all levels.
The NUJ national President Chris Isiguzo who was recently elected President, Congress of African Journalists, CAJ, on September 21 was making his first public appearance which happened to be in Katsina State where he served as the guest of honor at the 2022 special dinner and award presentations to climax the week long press week and the celebration of Katsina at 35, was full of thanks and gratitude.
He used the medium to remind journalists across the country on the need to key into the unification project of Nigeria especially with the 2023 general elections around the corner and the commencement of campaigns shortly.
According to him, ” it is an opportunity for me to appeal to journalists across Nigeria that the Constitution of this country has reposed that responsibility of holding government accountable, what that simply means is that for there to be accountability in governance, for there to be transparency in governance, for there to be good governance in any system, the journalists must discharge that responsibility”.
The NUJ President also said, “Without the media as oxygen of democracy, there is no democracy.
“Therefore as we prepare to start the campaigns to usher in new leaders, journalists you must at all times ensure you interrogate those seeking for political power, you must not be carried away or tempted by pecuniary considerations because, the mistakes you make today are going to live with us for the next four years or eight years as the case may be”.
Isiguzo further warned journalists to ensure they educate Nigerians to vote in credible leaders or live to regret their actions in the days ahead.
“If we fail to get it right this time around, it will not be good for Nigeria, if you want democracy that works in Nigeria, for us to continue to be united, we must mobilize Nigerians to do the right thing, we must educate Nigerians to make sure they take the right decisions at the level of state house of assembly, at the level of governorship and the level of house of representative seats, at the level of Senate and the level of the presidency, we must get it right so that we can compete favourably with our contemporary Nations across the globe”, he said.
He therefore reminded journalists to continue to uphold professionalism especially at the critical decision making time facing the nation.
According to him, “It is very very important let us not do this with our biases, as Journalists we must take backwards, issues about tribalism, issues about religion, issues about language we are all citizens of the federal Republic of Nigeria as we go about our profession as we go about our trade, let us ensure that the single currency which is Nigeria drives our passion and our jobs. When you raise your pen to write, remember Nigeria. Don’t write because you are an Igbo man, Yoruba man or Northerner but, write because you are a Nigerian”.
Governor Aminu Masari represented by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Home Affairs Abdulkareem Sirika stressed that the journey of statehood has been slow but steady in the last 35 years.
He assured the people of the state that, sooner than expected with the measures put in place, the state will overcome all the security challenges bedeviling it.
Earlier, the Katsina State Chairman of the NUJ, Tukur Dan-Ali expressed satisfaction and gratitude for the success of the event promising to continue to do his best to unite journalists in the state and fulfil all his campaign promises.