Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Imo State Council Comrade Chris Akaraonye has enjoined members of the union to eschew bitterness and rancour but embrace peace in the face of minor differences that are common among union members. He said peace and love are the core message of Christmas noting that 2021 offers better hope for all. Akaraonye who stated this in his Christmas/New year message made available to Nigerian Newsguide on Wednesday commended Imo journalists for leaving up to the ethics and tenets of the profession in the face of Covid-19 pandemic, ENDSARS protest and lots more even without government assistance and support.
The full message reads thus: “My dear colleagues, as the year is finally winding up with the usual Christmas and New year festivities, I want to thank God who has been our shield and defender since the beginning of the year.
The year 2020 has been very challenging. The Corona Virus that crippled a lot of activities. The #EndSARS Protests and now a second wave of Covid-19 is already taking its toll on the society.
As media professionals, it has not really been easy to do what we are trained to do. Government, organisations and even private individuals have not assisted journalists much in carrying out their responsibilities.
I understand the constraints in our profession added to the fact that a lot of journalists practicing in Imo are not being paid as and when due. Many are not even paid at all. Our colleagues work without necessary tools and equipment.
Even with the ravaging and rampaging Covid-19, yet journalists are not provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), thereby exposing them to the risk of infection.
However, despite all these towering challenges, God has been faithful and has kept His watchful eyes over us all.
The NUJ Legacy Awards has come and gone with its sweet memories. I thank you all for your support to make it a huge success. Imo successfully hosted the SouthEast Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) Meeting of NUJ. Hopefully, we shall engage in more activities next year.
I know that there have been bickering among some over one thing or the other. It is normal with human beings. I urge us all to eschew bitterness and rancour with peace and open mind. We are all colleagues and united by one profession.
We wish to most sincerely express our gratitude to Imo citizens for their supoort to the NUJ and journalists in Imo anr urge them to continue in their support.
As we all celebrate the Christmas and New Year, may we celebrate with moderation and caution. It is good we obey and inform the society on the need to adhere strictly to the Covid-19 protocols to stem the tide of the second wave.
I pray God to continue to guide and guard each of us and to make year 2021 a better one for us all.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in advance.
Comrade Chris Akaraonye
NUJ Imo Council