The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja, has stressed the need for the federal government to improve the welfare of journalists. He stated this recently in Abuja while being formally readmitted into the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the NUJ National secretariat.
Rev. Uja emphasised that journalism has defined the boundaries of the country, and has helped to shape policies and as such, the government should pay more attention to the journalism profession in order to enlarge their boundaries. He also advised that special attention should be paid to journalists covering war torn areas.
The NCPC helmsman stated that the Nigerian press is one of the freest press in the world. He described the Nigerian press as “balanced, decisive and analytical and commended journalists on their work of bringing the news to our doorsteps.
He appreciated God for the privilege to reunite with the NUJ, he pledged that the union would see the evidence of his readmission. He also stated that he would upgrade the Media Unit of NCPC and make it an active participant of the discourse of the country.
The NCPC boss commended the NUJ for their good work and called on all journalists to help build the young journalists in the profession. He stressed that pilgrimage was under-reported by the media and that there is need to increase the reportage of pilgrimage activities especially Christian pilgrimage.
The president of the NUJ, Mr. Abdulwaheed Odusile, while formally receiving the NCPC boss and his management team into the fold, described him as a man of integrity. According to him, “at the heart of this country is religion”. He further urged the NCPC boss to “lend his voice to create harmony between Christians and Muslims”. He urged religious leaders to come out and condemn this disparaging act of terrorism in the name of religion.
Mr. Odusile informed that the media has a major role to play pertaining to religious crisis. His words: “anything that inspires hate against groups should not be promoted in the media. He also warned that journalists should be wary of false evidence that would destroy the image of the nation stating that “journalists don’t create events, they report events.”
He also called on the government to reduce tariff on importation of news print for production, as the high cost of production is affecting the media. He further called on the society to search their conscience and ask themselves what kind of media they want, because according to him, “the society shapes the media and as such, if the society is bad, the media cannot be any different”.
The highpoint of the event was the official decoration of the Executive Secretary, his wife Mrs. Berry Uja, the Head of Media of NCPC, Mr. Celestine Toruka, and four other media officers of NCPC with NUJ national identity card.