Why Delta NUJ Chairman Must Not Be Government Megaphone

By Emeka Nwokocha

As the Delta State NUJ get new sets of leaders, my candid advice to members of the pen profession plying their trade in Delta State is simply couched in the following words: “the long stay in muddy waters, blinded to the fundamental role of the journalism profession in shaping the socioeconomic and political landscape of our society is over. That is, the awaited time to unbind the vicious grip of the apparatchik of government on the jugular of the prided but apparently atrophied Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State chapter has come. Therefore, it is time to raise the bar of our cherished and noble profession in the face of hurting economic woes raving our dear country. Most importantly, we must wear the creed of the journalism profession on our tongues and trace the fault lines emasculating the growth of our profession in a bid to nipping it in the bud.



Furthermore, we must disassociate ourselves from the lures from the Capitol which tend to sap our professional vibrancy – a virtue that places us high and above other professional bodies in our clime.”


In the words of Victor Hugo “Nothing is more powerful in this world than an idea whose time has come.” Truly the time to beat a detour from the murky waters of hate journalism and inordinate quest for self-aggrandizement and hovering around the seat of power with cap in hand has berthed. We must hone our conduct towards upholding the values that stand our age long profession out as the ‘watch dog of the society,’ ‘the agenda setter,’ and ‘the fourth estate of the realm.’


In our gale of honour as journalists, we wear the toga of authority and radicalism which invoke a feverish terror causing the ruling class to cower with submissive appeal. In order to keep the tempo of the journalism profession, our mental perception of the indispensable role of the media in shaping society for the good of all must regularly be nourished.


It would be recalled that the prestige and fame that go with the journalism profession didn’t come easy-they were rightfully earned by the legendary pioneers of the journalism profession. At the local turf, these humble and noble personalities are the likes of legendary Dr.  Nnadi Azikiwe,…. These men were the frontline journalists in our country who set the pace and tempo of journalism in Nigeria. We read about their wits, their resoluteness, patriotism and zeal with which they tenaciously wrestled political independence from the hegemonic Britain.


Without mincing words, it is Worrisome to note that the entire operating mechanism of journalists berthing their committed duties in the Delta state is undoubtedly jaundiced and appears to have boarded a rudderless destiny boat that will soon be deflated ashore by a stampeding whirl wind.


In my candid observation of the happenings in the Delta NUJ over the years, the integrity of the Union is seriously been debased as its historic activities remain chequered in every sense of the word. Then what is seeable is pale governance that stirs everyone in the face.


Now, the time has come for members of Delta State NUJ to look critically at the state of things at the Union currently, and do a throwback into the past and pin to book our progress and failure in helping our society achieve a seamless economic and political development using Delta State as a case study.


It is on this premise I express disappointment at the shape of things in the Union over the years. No doubt, every member of the Union has his or her inalienable rights to exercise his or her franchise in choosing whom he want emerge as the next Chairman. While that remains the rule of the game, I enjoin them to wear their thinking cap and build on the independency of the Union and nurture that virtue to enviable height. The reason is not far-fetched as evidence abounds that the Delta State NUJ has not lived up to its billings. Whatever might have led to the poor showing, one cardinal factor stoutly stands out – not keeping the apparachik of government in Delta State at arm’s length; there has been too much romance with the government of Delta State. Not denying the fact that no profession is an island upon itself, I wholesomely agree that the NUJ cannot be at daggers drawn with the government, but it must be stated that when such romance exists, it must be moderated and shielded from prying eyes. It is a fact that NUJ is expected to operate within the purview of Public Relations by ensuring mutual understanding between its members and the government (publics) is sustained to ensure unfettered governance. There are no qualms about that, but the crux of the matter is weighted on the fact that the handshake between the government of Delta State and NUJ over the years has since extended beyond the elbow thus causing a serious harm to the wellness of the Union over time. The consequences of this unhealthy romance seriously injure the sensibilities of the members of the Union in no small measure.


This writer has in no way doubted the fact that the Delta State NUJ as a body of descent and respected media gurus does not lack the true calibre of journalists to change and lighting the dim face of governance in Delta state. In the same breadth, this writer had unequivocally avowed that the personnel of the pen profession in Delta State do not lack the verve, temerity, vibrancy or might to cower the government of the day to do the right thing by delivering scare dividend of democracy to harpless Deltans in tandem with section… of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the sore point however, as this writer has regularly observed, is the anemic state of the journalism profession over the years. A development that has giving room for the apparatchiks in government to be at liberty to exhibit rascality and preside over state affairs in most dishonorable manner while the personnel of the pen profession play the ostrich.


Over time, mind bugging malfeasance perpetrated by those at the corridor of power is often glossed over by men of the pen profession. To be precise, the culture of “sit down and look” is fast becoming a guiding precept for latter day journalists in Delta state. There is an obvious reason to ponder over this recurring drift from the revered ethics which moderates the activities of journalists.


It is disheartening to note that praise singing of the doubtful pedigree of politicians has become the order of the day. It is no doubt an indulgence of the men of the pen profession that hurts the polity greatly.


Against the backdrop of the forgoing, it is important to avow that while the hailing of the chief officer in charge of the state affairs may not be out of place when the occasion rightly demands his veneration, but the grieving point is that often times the avalanche of ecomium being poured on the chief officer of the state, from the mouthpiece of the media men evidently evokes a feeling of unwellness in the pen profession.


On a progressive note, the stage will soon be set at this peak of “political action.” It behoves the right thinking men of the pen profession to live above medieval sentiments and vain interest, the NUJ aspiring goals to protect the vulnerable society from the shackles of vile governance and vicious leadership shall be the cherished creed of the journalism profession which is unusually referred as the bedrock of modern civilization.


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