The General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Church, Revd Professor Paul Emeka has described journalists as the conscience of any society.
Revd Emeka who spoke in his Enugu residence when he played host to the planning Committee of the Annual Public Lecture of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Enugu State Council billed for Thursday February 20, 2020 and led by Chairman of the Committee, Michael Illediagu maintained that journalists constitute a voice that cannot be ignored.
“We take you as some of the wisest people, some of the most informed people about the goings on in the society. It is out of these happenings that agenda will be formed”.
While describing the theme of the lecture, “Promoting Synergy among the Media, Ruling Class and the Society” as apt and timely, the Assemblies of God General Superintendent said if there was no disconnect between the media and leaders as well as the society, it shows journalists were not doing enough in the discharge of their duty as watchdog of the society.
“You say there is a grave disconnect between the journalists and the political class; even the society. It has to be so. If it is not like that, it means the journalists are not doing their work”.
“Politics is a partisan movement; phenomenon by nature. They view things from different point of view. Politicians particularly have their parties, ideologies, inclinations. They produce leaders and leaders by nature admire praise singers. The leaders that emerge from politics will like you to praise them. If you don’t praise them, they give you bad name, if you praise them, they give you good name”.
“The solution is to act like eagle, be above board, be above partisanship and view things from the eagle’s eyes. If you do that people may speak bad about you but what you have done will begin to solve a problem”.
“You write from a context. No journalist writes in a vacuum. Give equal space to the problems in Nigeria but give more space to Igbo problems.
“Do not think that people will always applaud you. But when the result of what you are doing begins to get out, people will begin to applaud you. Write for prosperity, write for history, write to remake Igbo land”.
While urging the organizers to use the event to address the existential problems facing the Igbo nation Professor Emeka maintained that efforts should be made to promote unity and progress among Igbos and pledged to always support whatever that is good for the society.
“Let this movement not answer question anyone is not asking. Do not try to scratch where it is not itching. Try to do something that will address the existential problem of Igbo man. Also, do it with love of this country”.
“We love the Igbo land. We must speak the truth about Igbo land. The ills, the misdeeds in Igbo will not be tolerated or covered but as you present the problems, I want you to present an Igbo man with a hand covering his scar and yet telling the truth”.
“For as you present us to the world, that is how the world will look at us”.
“Do not be shy to praise Igbo people when they have done well. Also, wherever they have not done well, you should still bring it, but as you bring it, give us an Igbo man with a hand covering his scar”.
“To say the truth without prejudice does not mean to come and expose in childish way, the ills of your people.
“Yet if you did not tell us where we have problem, we will not be able to change.
“The Igbo nation is divisive. They are hardly united. We quarrel over the minutest issues ranging from who heads this, where will it take place, how did the money go and all these things.
“But other regions have similar issues, they know how to come together to solve their problems immediately.
“When it comes to Igbo land, we do not know how to solve our problem.
“Igbo people are well-read. But the only problem we have is our inability to apply what we have learnt.
“The event is a step in the right direction. I will always like to support anything that will bring progress to Nigeria especially to Ndigbo.
“And this project you are putting in place is coming at the right time.
“I want to encourage you in your vision and mission of organizing this.
“This is what we have in other regions of the country. They do it and I will continue to be happy that you people have thought it wise to initiate that programme in the Eastern region and choice of place, Enugu is equally commendable.
Earlier, Chairman of the Planning Committee of the NUJ Annual Lecture, Comrade Michael Illediagu told the Cleric that the team was in his home to officially extend invitation to him to attend the maiden edition of the public lecture and seek his spiritual blessing.
He said the theme of the lecture “Promoting Synergy among the Media, Ruling Class and the Society” was carefully chosen to address the widening gap between the leaders, followers and the media.
He disclosed that the first female Professor of Mass Communication in Africa, Professor Chinyere Okunna, will be the guest lecturer and will speak on the topic “Journalism in Nigeria: Journey of Endangered Profession.
“Sir, we believe that especially in this part of the world, there is a big disconnect between the leaders and followers. Disconnect in the sense that, when we take the political class for instance, they see the media as a process they can climb with”.
“The people sometimes accuse the media of not being fair. We also find a situation where the media need information from the people and they will not be forthcoming”.
“It is good to find a way to bring everybody; the political leaders, the religious leaders, captains of industry and the media, and think of a common ground”. He added.