Rise Up To Your Watchdog Role, Jerry Needam Tells Journalists
The Publisher of National Network newspaper, Pastor Jerry Needam has enjoined journalists in Rivers State to take their place as critical players in nation building by setting the right agenda for political office seekers as build up to the 2023 General Election begins.
Speaking at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt Thursday, March 3, 2022, where he was hosted by the leadership of the State NUJ to celebrate his birthday, the publisher said as the watchdog of the society, the task of sustaining the enviable practice of journalism rests on every journalist in the state.
Pastor Needam stressed that the body of journalists must be united to achieve its objectives in the state, and charged the State Chairman, Mr. Stanley Job Stanley and Secretary, Ike Wigodo to deploy their wealth of experience and build a formidable house.
The Publisher thanked the NUJ for rejoicing with him on his birthday which took place the previous day, Wednesday March 2, 2022, and expressed surprise at the overwhelming number of journalists awaiting for him at the venue of the celebration.
He apologized for not being available to celebrate with them on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 (birthday proper) as, according to him, the day is observed in solitude for the bonus life God gave to him.
“But for God, I would have been dead on December 22, 2015 when my residence was attacked by over ten armed men. The incident took the life of an ASP and two other police officers. And so, I promised God to use my birthday to specially thank Him for gifting me with extra years of life, and that’s why I couldn’t come yesterday”, he said.
The Publisher who also doubles as the Chairman of Independent Newspaper Publishers Association of Rivers State (RIVPA) again commended Stanley Job Stanley for his re-election as Chairman of NUJ in the state, and reiterated his commitment to give him all the support needed to succeed.
Pastor Jerry Needam who was accompanied on the occasion by the Editor-in-Chief/General Manager of National Network, Chris Konkwo and Editor, Ken Asinobi, also thanked the leadership of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in the state for standing by Stanley Job and his team during the elections, and urged them to remain a strong ally and also project the cause of journalism in the state.
Reaffirming the phrase that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, the Publisher, who is also Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah, promised to bankrole the next Happy Hour event of the NUJ. He also promised to sponsor the next birthday anniversaries of the NUJ Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley and that of Secretary, Ike Wigodo.
Earlier in his speech, Rivers NUJ Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley said the union was proud to identify with Pastor Jerry Needam whom he described as an exemplary philanthropist, consumate journalist and supporter of what is right.
“This is the least we can do for you. May God keep you to continue with your good works. You will live to see your grand and great grand children”, he prayed.
In the same vein, the immediate past Chairman of the NUJ Credentials Committee, Victor Tew described Jerry Needam as a good man with a good conscience, an astute journalist who stands by the truth, stressing that his stand on the unity and progress of the union was examplery.
“If we can have just five of his kind in the State, then NUJ in Rivers will become a model for other states”, Tew said.
The Chief of Staff to the Rivers NUJ Chairman and Ex-officio member of the body, Boye Salau while commending the National Network publisher for his benevolent works, said his contributions to the development of NUJ in the state are immesurable.
“Uncle Jerry is a man of infectious humility. He believes in what he believes. Every assignment he handles, he does it excellently. I thank him for single handedly producing this exco and may God continue to grant him more wisdom”, he prayed.
Similarly, the Chairman of NAWOJ in the state, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana described Pastor Jerry Needam as an elder brother and journalist par-excellence who has freely imparted his wealth of experience to the younger colleagues. NAWOJ and the NUJ, she said, held him in very high esteem and would continue to do so.
Highlight of the occasion was a thunderous ‘Happy Birthday’ song rendered in unism and followed by the cutting of the giant-sized birthday cake provided by the NUJ.