– By Johnson Ebigide
The Chairman of the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, has said that the union in the state would partner with the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency towards the actualisation of the noble vision of developing the territory by the state government.
Comrade Ikeogwu stated this when he led some journalists in the state to pay a courtesy call on the Director General of the agency, Honourable Onyemaechi Mrakpor, in her office in Asaba, the state capital.
Comrade Ikeogwu maintained that there was the urgent need to support the commitment of the agency to develop the state capital territory as envisaged by the state government, adding that journalists in the state should encourage the agency by informing the public on the activities of the agency, as such activities would add up to not only their welfare, but the environmental sustainability of the state capital territory.
The union leader disclosed that a key committee of the council, the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, has been put in place to checkmate the shortcomings of some journalists who are in the unwholesome habit of blackmailing some government officials for financial aggrandizement, adding that the giant strides taken so far by Honourable Mrakpor in the development and aesthetics of the state capital deserved the commendation of not only residents in the area, but the good people of the state.
He disclosed that the union in the state had decided to be taught on how to fish for sustainability, instead of demanding every time for fish from public spirited individuals and government agencies, adding that such a noble decision and commitment would engender public respectability of the union in the state and beyond.
Responding, Honourable Mrakpor thanked him for the visit, adding that it was necessary for journalists in the state to advocate for the need to return to the old practice of community efforts at cleaning up the streets in cities, towns and villages towards the environmental sustainability of the state.
She recalled that in those good old days youths in the communities would be organised at intervals to clean up the streets and market squares of weeds and refuse, adding that such efforts contributed immensely in keeping the environment clean from filth and health hazards.
The DG wondered why such communal efforts have gradually gone into oblivion, adding that journalists should harp on the need to return to the old practice in their reportages, just as she decried the noncommittal attitude of some residents during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state.
She maintained that most residents in the state took the period of the clean up exercise as an opportunity for relaxation, while some others engaged themselves in playing football, adding that there was the urgent need to revisit the purpose of the compulsory monthly clean up exercise so as to appraise its impacts in the state.
The DG enjoined residents in the state to shun the unwholesome belief that government alone should arrange for the cleaning up of the cities, towns and villages in the state, adding that while the state government had engaged the services of street sweepers to keep the streets in cities and towns clean of filth, residents should ensure that they clean up their residences and surroundings at all times towards the environmental sustainability of the state.
On the entourage of the Chairman were the Vice Chairman, Comrade Ogono Salvation, the Secretary, Comrade Patrick Ochei, the Assistant Secretary, Comrade Felix Ekwu, the Internal Auditor, Comrade Celestine Afokobah and Comrade Polycarp, the Financial Secretary. Others included the NAWOJ Chairperson in the state, Comrade Patricia Gbemudu, the Peace Ambassador of the NUJ, Comrade Osita Biose, Comrade Anthonia Mowah and the Director of Communications to the Chairman of the state council of the union, Comrade Johnson Ebigide.