The Chaplain of Madonna Catholic Chaplaincy, Umuahia, Abia State, Rev. Father Christian Uche Anokwuru (PhD) has tasked journalists in Nigeria to be fearless, truthful and abide by the ethics of the profession when performing their constitutional responsibilities of educating, enlightening and creating awareness in the society.
The clergyman stated this recently during a Mass Service at the Chaplaincy inside the Madonna Catholic Hospital, Umuahia. The event marked the re-dedication and thanksgiving service by the Abia State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) for the year 2021. He commended members of NAWOJ for taking a wise decision to start the year with the Lord.
The clergyman described the journalism profession as a profession that is highly rated and therefore demanding, adding that it enhances the welbeing and well fair of the society. His word, “Could you imagined a world without journalists and journalism? Such a world would be characterised by emptiness and vague because such a society will be a society without information.
Father Anokwuru who is also the Hospital Administrator of Madonna Catholic Hospital admonished journalists to be fearless when discharging their constitutional responsibility, even as he reiterated that “once people know you as fearless and truthful, you’ll not only make a name for yourself, but will be a shining and popular journalists whom the people will look out for.
He revealed that with the emergence of social media, journalism is now under threat, stressing “the only thing that separates you from them is professionalism”. Therefore, follow the ethics of the profession and it will definitely separate you from them. Another is your power of investigation, hinge it on balanced reportage, avoid placing money before the work, don’t forget to raise the bar. If you do this, you’ll excel beyond measure”.
Anokwuru who is also the Abia State Chairman, Christian Hospital Association of Nigeria (CHAN), noted that “in this era of social media glut, all manner of fake news and false information are ceaselessly dished out. “If the situation is properly managed, we’ll be having a disoriented and chaos society that will lead to survival of the fittest”.
In her speech at the event, the NAWOJ Zonal Secretary, South East, Zone C, Lady Tina Oluchukwu Ikwegbu (JP) commended the Abia NAWOJ for doing the needful which was: coming together in one accord to return glory to the Almighty God, saying that it shows how faithful they are to their creator.
She used the occasion to admonished the members of the Church, made up of mostly Youths Corp members to always appreciate that there are always positive and negative sides of life, even as she harped on the need to move on with the positive side and drop the negative side.
Speaking also, the Abia State Chairperson of NAWOJ, Mrs Beatrice Okezie Odoemelem explained that Abia NAWOJ has made it mandatory to begin every year with the Lord and thanked the church for giving the women journalists in the state the opportunity to worship the Lord with them.
Mrs Odoemelem disclosed that the nature of the job of journalists is very demanding and tasking, saying that during both the COVID-19 lock down and #EndSARS protest, journalists were always in the forefront, ensuring that the public was aware with the day to day goings on of all national and international events. As a result this, she lamented, many journalists paid the supreme price, reiterating that because no Abia journalist in the state died while in the front line, the need for the women journalists to appreciate God became expedient.
The State Secretary of NAWOJ, Henrietta Ashikodi thanked Father Christian Anokwuru for being a good friend to journalists in the state, lauding the man of God for offering journalists in Abia State in the time past, free eye medical treatment.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.