Chris Isiguzo, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, has called on the Federal Government to urgently tackle the challenge of insecurity across the nation.
He made the call during the National Executive Council Meeting of NUJ in Umuahia, the Abia capital, on Friday.
Isiguzo said that the Union was so much worried and therefore charged the government to rise to the occasion.
According to him, the primary responsibility of a responsible government is to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizenry.
He said: “The insurgency in the North-East, the armed banditry in the North-West, the herdsmen menace in the North-Central which is overlapping to South-South and South-East, are not good signs that we are making progress.
“On our part, we give assurance of our assistance and support at all times.”
He pointed that the most excruciating challenge facing journalism today was the safety and impunity of offence committed against journalists.
He emphasised that safety also extended to the workers’ welfare, adding that an employee that was not well remunerated would be exposed to all sorts of hazards.
Isiguzo said that the NUJ had put in place several measures including National Monitoring Network on Safety of Journalists, which efforts were being complemented at the state councils’ level.
He commended the Abia Government for the efforts deployed so far towards ensuring the safety of the citizenry.
The NUJ boss, however, called for collaboration between the state and security apparatus, particularly in the area of intelligence information gathering.
While declaring the conference open, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu thanked newsmen for doing their jobs equitably to safeguard the country.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Ude Okochukwu, urged newsmen to continue to do their best by reporting on those areas that would bring about national unity and integration.
Okochukwu said: “Let’s try as much as possible to de-emphasise those areas that will tear us apart as a people.”
He said that the state government, on its part, would continue to do its best towards the safety and security of the citizenry.
The governor noted that the state had a wonderful collaboration with the security agencies.
According to him, Abia is rated as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.
Earlier in his remarks, John Emejor, the Chairman of NUJ, Abia council, appealed to the state government to help facilitate the completion of the council’s permanent secretariat.
He said that Abia was the only council in the country with no befitting secretariat.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the occasion was chaired by Raph Egbu, former Secretary to Abia Government.