By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Activities marking the 2010 Press Week of the Nigerian Union of Journalsts, NUJ, Imo State Council, kicked off Sunday with a Pontifical thanksgiving sung mass at Saint Mark’s Catholic Parish, New Owerri.
Preaching the sermon, the Parish Priest, Rev. Dr. Mark Njoku, charged journalists to individually and collectively do a thorough and in-depth expose of the root cause of kidnapping and other serious crimes in the South East and South South geo-political zones.
“Is there nothing that NUJ can do with regard to the kidnapping and armed robbery scourge, which I think is to be found in the shameless confiscation of our national wealth by a few unscrupulous individuals?” Njoku queried.
He wondered if it was unthinkable for journalists to make a case for the review of salaries and allowances of those in public offices, adding that the profession was by vocation and choice.
Noting that the press was the conscience and watch-dog of society, the Catholic priest also reminded journalists that to play this patriotic role, they have to respect the ethics of their profession, especially honesty, transparency, responsible and investigative reporting.
“When journalists abandon their sacred duties, the masses are the victims, the nation suffers and human rights are abused.
“One is afraid to imagine how many less public individuals have fallen victims to the power of the pen,” Njoku said.