Media practitioners in Nigeria have been reminded of their constitutional role in enhancing probity, transparency and accountability in the nation.
Chief Fidel Onyeneke, immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Imo State council, gave the reminder at the public presentation of two books, Musings on Corruption and A Handbook for Editors written by a renowned journalist, Richard Dirim Odu, in Owerri, Imo State, recently.
Onyeneke who delivered a lecture on The Media and the Fights against Corruption told journalist to make full use of the Freedom of Information law, urging them to be proactive and courageous in the fight.
He advocated the creation of special desks in the media houses dedicated to issues bordering on corruption and called for regular seminars for newsmen on ways of tackling the cankerworm.
In his speech, Professor Fabian Osuji, former minister of education and current director-general of Ikemba Odumegwu-Ojukwu Centre, Owerri, who was the chairman of the book presentation, admitted that corruption has stunted the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
Prof Osuji, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer of the Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, Mr. Chris Ajaero, commended Mr. Odu for writing the books.
He described Odu as a thoroughbred journalist who decided to document his many years of practical experience for the benefit of budding media practitioners. He said that as a seasoned educationist and former minister of education, he knew the importance of books in advancing knowledge.
Professor Osuji described one of the books, A Handbook for Editors, as a scholarly work which will be useful for teaching the techniques of newspaper production in departments of Mass Communication in universities and polytechnics.
He noted that the other book, Musings on Corruption, was published at the right time when the anti-graft war is being intensified, believing that its contents will be beneficial to the agencies involved in the anti-graft war.
It was a gathering of media giants in Imo State, including Sir Martin Ebe, Editor of Christian Voice, Mr. Gele Agbai, Editor of Nigerian Newspoint who also reviewed the books, Mr Innocent Igwe, the Imo NUJ chairman, Mr Chris Nwokocha of Businessday, and Mr Innocent Osuoha of IBC.
Also present were Innocent Onyeukwu, Daily Editor of Trumpeta, Gift Nwokoro, Editor of Nigerian Horn, Casmir Njoku, editor of The Red Parrot as well as Chief Alan B Onyemachi who formally presented the books.
The author, Mr. Odu, an associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) had served in various media organizations in the country, including Imo Newspapers Limited, Champion Newspapers, The Red Parrot, Daily Times, Sunray Publications Limited, Local Government Digest, among others. He is currently serving with the Christian Voice newspaper in Owerri.