Ohanaeze Ndigbo has applauded journalists for their contributions to democracy in Nigeria, while tasking government to enhance their welfare.
Secretary-General of the Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, stated this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, while felicitating with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on its successful triennial delegates’ conference held at Umuahia, Abia State, which returned Chris Isiguzo as president of the union.
The pan-Igbo socio-cultural body noted that the re-elected head of Nigeria’s fourth estate of the realm demonstrated competence, capacity, inclusiveness, accountability and transparency, which, according to Ohanaeze, put Nigeria in the comity of countries with the modern Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Ohanaeze stated that the immense and legendary contributions of journalists in the democratic advancement of a nation could not be overemphasised.
Describing Isiguzo as a detribalised Nigerian and a true Igbo son, it expressed confidence that he would ensure that media organisations in the country adhered to global best practices in the journalism profession.
Meanwhile, the Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has demanded the immediate release of a radio presenter, Godfrey Chikwere, who was detained, allegedly on the order of the state government, over a Facebook post.
President of AESID, Paschal Oluchukwu, faulted Governor David Umahi’s administration’s implementation of the Cybercrime Prohibition Law in the state without subjecting it to public hearing.
In a statement, yesterday, the group gave the Ebonyi government 24 hours to release the journalist and apologise to him for violation of his fundamental rights.
The Ebonyi indigenes maintained that the journalist did not breach any known law in the country through the Facebook post. It noted: “As a leading governance and accountability platform, we have taken time to read through the Facebook posts by the victim, Mr. Chikwere, and are sincerely at a loss – just like virtually every other social media user – on how a mere post counselling youths to be careful with politicians, who would engage them to kill and maim fellow youths, became offensive to the said law?
“What exactly is the contravention in a post that never mentioned, abused or incited anyone, either against individuals or the government? We are even further disturbed watching the commissioner mention another post also made by the victim claiming that the Nigerian Army must have lost public respect following its arrest and detention of popular Nollywood actor, Chinwetalu Agu, who was picked in Onitsha, Anambra State, for adorning a dress with the rising sun logo.”