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In Umuahia, journalists urge action on federal roads, herdsmen’s menace in South-East

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia   |   03 October 2016   |   12:10 am

Abia State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Eziuche Ubani (left), presenting award to former Abia State governor, Mr. Theodore Orji, being received by his Media Adviser, Mr. Don Norman Obinna, last Friday… in Umuahia

Abia State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Eziuche Ubani (left), presenting award to former Abia State governor, Mr. Theodore Orji, being received by his Media Adviser, Mr. Don Norman Obinna, last Friday… in Umuahia

Several nagging socio-economic issues plaguing the country at large and Abia State in particular formed the fulcrum of discussion at last Friday’s grand finale of 2016 Press Week of Correspondents Chapel of Abia State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The theme ‘The Imperatives of Equity and Fairness: A Case Study of Abia State’ climaxed the celebration with the presentation of awards to three industrious Abia citizens. They were immediate past governor of the state and serving senator for Abia Central, Chief Theodore Orji, member of House of Representatives for Arochukwu/Ohafia Constituency, Hon. Uko Ndukwe Nkole, and a community leader and businessman, Prince Chris Odinaka Igwe.
Senator Orji was honoured for his role in the emergence of the state’s governor from Abia South Senatorial District in line with the principle of rotation. While Hon. Nkole was honoured for his various community development activities before he joined active politics.
The keynote speaker and Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Martins Azubuike, posited that equity “derives from a concept of social justice and represents a belief that there are some things, which people should have, that there are basic needs that should be fulfilled, that burdens and rewards should not be spread too divergently across the community and that policies should be directed with impartiality, fairness and justice towards these ends”.
According to Azubuike, equity is the quality of being fair, unbiased and just and involves ensuring that everyone has access to the resources, opportunities, power and responsibility they need to reach their full, healthy potentials as well as making changes so that unfair differences may be understood and addressed. To him “equity as a concept is fundamental to sustainable development and well entrenched in international law and universal declaration of human rights”.
Chairman of the session and state Commissioner for Works, also a former journalist, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, opined that Abia State is not yet where it ought to be in the community of states in terms of development even though it has the right people piloting its affairs, adding, “but despite this adversity, there is the will to continue to move forward”.
In the submission of the chapel, expressed by the National Vice President for South East Zone, Comrade Chris Isinguzo, “The South-East zone of the country has been landlocked and additionally heightened by the menace of herdsmen. There are no motorable roads now from Onitsha to Enugu, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Umuahia to Ikot Ekpene, Enugu to Abakaliki, Owerri to Port Harcourt, Owerri to Okigwe, Aba to Ikot Ekpene,” among others.
He urged the Federal Government to quickly declare a state of emergency on South-East roads and for governors in the region to find solution to the roads, even if temporary solutions, including the menace of herdsmen whose cattle continue to destroy farms, property and human lives.
Specifically, Ubani urged the zone’s governors to close ranks, put away their individual political parties’ differences and work in concert for common solutions to these two problems.
In his address, Chairman of Abia State’s Correspondents Chapel, Comrade Emma Ugwu, stated that giving award to the three personalities drew the curtain on the Press Week. He expressed that the chapel was also aware “that some individuals with ulterior motives have questioned our decision and choice of the award recipients”.
To theses cynics, Ugwu said, “We stand by our decision. There is no other group that is better placed than men of the pen profession to identify people that deserve to be honoured in any society. We are the eyes, ears and noses of the various media organisations that we represent. Hence, like an orbiting satellite, we scan the environment where we operate; no other journalist outside this milieu can claim better knowledge of Abia State than members if this chapel”.

Former NUJ National Vice President for South East zone, Comrade Ambrose Nwachukwu, in his lecture on ‘Ethics of Journalism Practice,’ tasked journalists to strictly abide by the ethics of the profession in view of the implications and consequences of not doing so, stressing that the society would definitely be better when necessary and true information are disseminated to the people.

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