The National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, has tasked journalists to uphold their watchdog responsibility as the 2023 general elections draw nearer.
The NUJ president made the call in Bauchi on Monday, during a book launch entitled ‘My Journey’ written by Mr Shuaibu Leman, the National Secretary of NUJ in marking his retirement as a civil servant.
According to him, journalists should be circumspect and disseminate only factual account of events.
“Political actors are already on a rampage somewhat. They are everywhere saying so many things. The things they will do; the things they will not do and the things they don’t have capacity of doing.
“It now behoves the media to rise to the occasion and critically look at what they are saying; examine their policy documents, their visions and missions and all their promises.
“We must rise to the occasion and not remain as lap dogs, we must be watchdogs as we have been clearly defined to be,” he said.
Isiguzo described the author as a selfless man who had rendered a meritorious service to the NUJ, hence the array of journalists that turned up for the occasion to celebrate him.
In his remarks Leman said that the book was a compilation of what NUJ had done and what it had not succeeded in doing in the past 19 years.
“We tried our best and we hope those who will come after us will do more. Even as I leave the union, my greatest regret would be the poor welfare package for journalists.
“Journalists in Nigeria are not properly remunerated and we have tried our best to change the situation”, he said.
He also called on governments at all level to prioritise protection of lives and property of journalists, adding that the journalists remained pivotal to the advancement of democracy in the country. (NAN)