Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Bello ask journalists to expose saboteurs

Journalists in the Federal Capital Territory have been asked to professionally investigate and expose negative elements working against the development of the territory.

The FCT Minister, Mohammad Bello, who gave the charge at the commissioning of the Nigeria Union of Journalist Council Secretariat in Utako, said as watchdog of the society, journalists must always tailor their reports towards ills that will thwart the commitment of FCTA.

The minister who was represented by the Executive Secretary,  Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Umar Jibrin, commended journalists for projecting Abuja in a positive manner through their reportage, said the media remain the best drivers that can take FCT to its founding fathers dream.

“The media has a huge role to play in this quest by engaging in diligent reportage of events and truly being the watchdog of society. It is essential that you dig deep to expose negative elements working against our collective efforts of building not just the FCT but indeed the Nigeria of our dreams.

“I want to use this opportunity, therefore, to stress that we in the FCTA appreciate your efforts in keeping residents informed of events around the territory as well as holding government to account on its responsibilities to the people.

“It is therefore our fervent hope that you will take care of this beautiful edifice which I dare say is one of the best NUJ Secretariats across Nigeria and utilize it effectively so that it stands out as a place of professionalism, excellence and symbol of truth, unity and strength of our country".

In his remarks, the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche appealed for a monthly grant to enable the council meet up with some of its obligations.

Ogbeche, who is also the Editor of The Abuja Inquirer newspaper, said building of the secretariat started over two decades ago without direction, but the executive which he leads has completed it.

In his words, “This event has been 28 years in the making, and it has pleased God that the #FRESH START Team which I lead as Chairman, should wear the badge of honour. Mr. Minister, Sir, all of these will not have happened if were not for your policy of seeing government as a continuum, and we are grateful.”

He added that since the executive came on board 14 months now, “We have been guided by our pledge of service, transparency and accountability in running the affairs of this council. We have been able to intervene in various issues – professional and personal – of our members.”

On the challenges facing the council, Ogbeche said: "this council is not without challenges, one of which is funding. It is no longer secret that journalists are mistreated by the society it serves and protects, but thankfully, you have demonstrated that you are different. We thank you.”

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