Ebonyi Gov, Umahi Apologized To Online Media Practitioners.
Apology: Umahi Has Shown True Mark of Leadership – Anyalekwa, Igbere TV Boss
The Executive Director of popular online medium Igbere TV, Emeh James Anyalekwa, has commended Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi, for retracing his steps and apologizing to journalists in the state.
Anyalekwa had on Wednesday demanded an apology from Umahi over a life ban placed on two journalists in Ebonyi, threatening to drag him to court and before the International Community.
However, the Governor in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, pleaded with the [Sun and Vanguard] journalists to “put behind” them the dispute, while also lifting the ban.
Reacting, the Igbere TV boss, who doubles as National President of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN), said the move was a welcome development.
He said state actors, at all levels of government, must learn to stop the clampdown on media houses and journalists going about their lawful business, as required by law.
“I thank the Governor (David Umahi) for realizing that he has made a terrible mistake, and most especially, for retracing his steps and choosing the path of peace, which is a great mark of a true leader.”
“Like I said last week, it is the right and duty of every journalist as the watchdog of society to report happenings in the society whether ‘good or bad.’
“The media “shall at all times be free” to perform its duties without hindrance as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended). Government must respect this”, he said.
The Igbere TV boss called for partnership between the Umahi-led Ebonyi state government and media houses, especially in the fight against COVID-19.
“Journalists are critical stakeholders and partners in national development and no attempt should be made to derail our efforts towards building a greater Nigeria.
“I urge Governor Umahi to show a greater level of transparency and accountability, by allowing unfettered coverage of government activities by journalists and media houses, at all time.”
The OMPAN National President urged journalists not to relent but remain focused in discharging their duties at all time, as critical stakeholders in a democracy.