The Chairman of Imo Merit Award Committee, Rt. Rev Cyril C. Okorocha, has spelt out the role journalists must play in the Imo State Merit Award Scheme(ISMAS), which aims at re-orientation and transformation of the Imo people.
Speaking to newsmen in Owerri during a press conference, Bishop Okorocha who is also the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, urged journalists to always ask relevant questions about people’s conducts.
He said that journalists could help the committee to achieve its objectives by disseminating information on ISMAS as well as giving the committee a feedback based on reactions of the people.
He described journalists as prophets of the people and advised them to always make constructive criticisms aimed at evaluating issues and making inputs on the way forward.
The eloquent prelate traced the declining values system to colonization, insisting that Ndigbo had an organized system before the arrival of the white man.
He said that the society was egalitarian, even without the police, kings or schools, and recalled that it was integrity rather than money that mattered in the old Igbo society.
The Bishop justified this view with the popular Igbo saying “if a child washes his hands clean, he eats with the elders”.
The problem, he said, came when we lost the concept of being our brothers’ keeper and began to sell our people as slaves to the colonial masters and “evil came into our nation”.
He, therefore, posited that to stop kidnapping, human trafficking and other vices which are offshoots of colonization, we must return to the ethos of our people and begin a transformation away from hypocrisy, dishonesty and fraudulent elections.
According to him, a way to do this is to search for people we can emulate.
As a hope raiser, the Bishop said that things have not really fallen apart in the situation of the country, only that the centre cannot hold.
He blamed the political class for not showing enough examples adding that many of them go into office only to enrich themselves.
According to him, ISMAS is not about re-branding but about planting integrity and transparency into the youth of the nation so that we build a society where no one is oppressed.