Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, has charged the newly elected executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council to build a strong and united Union in the State.
Mr Ukah gave the charge in a courtesy call on him by the members of the Council Executive led by its Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu.
The Commissioner said that the executive should go about its affairs with a mentality of no victor nor vanquished, by building bridges of unity rather than walls of division.
He revealed that he chose to maintain a neutral position before and during the electioneering processes on the ground that he was prepared to work with whoever was elected.
Describing the NUJ as the umbrella body for those who hold government accountable to the society, the Commissioner called on them to be professional by maintaining high level of ethical standard.
Mr Ukah posited that reporting the truth was a responsibility journalists owed the society, saying that the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa was a man of integrity that deserved to be reported aright.
“Please report the truth as they are”, he said, stating, “If you see the government working say so. We are not going to force you to tell what has not happened.
Continuing, Mr Ukah said: “We will continue to be open and partner the NUJ, we will remain friendly and strong in it.”
He warned against acts and reports that were capable of causing division among government appointees saying they all had one agenda to promote the work of Governor Okowa, whom he described as “Our Principal”.
“The governor’s media team is one, so please continue to write and report things that will unite rather than separate us.”
Responding to some issues raised, the Commissioner said that the State Government was committed to completing and commissioning the NUJ Press Centre, and promised to look into the indebtedness of the Council as well as address welfare challenges of its members.
The Chairman of the Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu said that the visit was to re-enact the cordial relationship existing between the NUJ and his Ministry, calling for more concerted efforts from the State Government towards the completion of the NUJ Secretariat and reintroduction of welfare package hitherto provided for journalists.
He gave an assurance that members of the NUJ would continue to perform their statutory responsibility to the society, saying, “As the watchdog of the society our responsibility is both to government and the governed. Therefore, in playing our ultimate role of informing, educating and entertaining the populace, we shall uphold the ethics of our profession as it is the only way we can justify our responsibility as the conscience of the society.”
The highpoint of the visit was the presentation by the Commissioner to the NUJ executive members, copies of the latest edition of the Veracity Magazine, a quarterly publication of the Ministry of Information.