The Nigeria Union of Jour
nalists (NUJ), Rivers State council, has been called upon to cultivate a maintenance culture to protect the newly constructed NUJ secretariat.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Sam Woka, represented by the Director, Planning, Research, and Statistics Department of the ministry, Mr. Tonye Jenewari, made the call during the thanksgiving and dedication service of the union secretariat in Port Harcourt recently.
Woka described the edifice as a money spinner, calling on the executive council of the union to be prudent in the management of revenue accruing from the use of the facilities provided within the secretariat.
In a welcome address, the state Chairman of NUJ, Mr. Omoni Ayo-Tamuno said that the union realised the necessity of thanking God for His mercies to all journalists in the state and for the successful elections of the union both in the state and at the national level, saying that gratitude attracts more magnificient blessings from God.
Ayo- Tamuno said that dedicating the secretariat to God show how much the union appreciates God in making the secretariat real, and called on journalists to eschew all forms of grievances and differences and work together as a people in order to take the union to greater heights.
Also speaking, the immediate past NUJ State Chairman and current Zonal Secretary, Opaka Dokubo, expressed gratitude to the management of The Tide Newspaper Corporation for accommodating the union free of charge for five years, encouraging the present state executive of NUJ to see the secretariat as a worthy legacy bequeathed to them.
In his goodwill message, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa E. Sunday Lale, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Humanities of the institution, Prof. John Enemugweum, admonished journalists in the state to emulate the late Ernest Ikoli, after whom the secretariat is named, and be fearless and objective in reporting as the voice of the minority and the voiceless to impact the society positively.
The General Manager of Radio Rivers, Mr. Sampson Fiberesima, urged the executive of NUJ to realize that the secretariat was built with tax payers’ money, and cautioned them to be careful in the usage of the facilities, advising them to put up a policy geared towards maintaining the edifice.
The General Manager Rivers State Newspaper Corproation, Mr. Celestine Ogolo, said that he had no doubt in the capability of NUJ in maintaining the edifice because, for the five years the union made use of the premises of The Tide, they caused no damage to the facility, calling on them to keep the tempo.
Earlier, the Parish Pastor of First Baptist Church, Aggrey Road, Port Harcourt, Rev. Isiah David had called on journalists in the country to operate within the ethics of their profession.
Rev. David, decried situation where journalists compromised by twisting facts just to favour their paymasters and put the masses in confusion.
David, who also performed the dedication of the new Ernest Ikoli Press Centre in Port Harcourt, urged journalists to always say the truth and be on the side of the masses, admonishing them to be fearless and courageous in doing their work, even as he advised them to put in good use the secretariat edifice to the glory of God always.
Some other dignitaries at the occasion were the Zonal Director of News of Radio Nigeria, Gina Osika-Daka, General Manager, External Relations, Shell Nigeria, Igo Weli and SPDC spokesperson, Joseph Obari, among others.
The Nigeria Union of Jour