By AFAM Echi
The Co-ordinator of Presidents of Imo Town’s Union, Barr Canice Madukaji, has advised media practitioners in the state to demonstrate professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities to the people.
He made the call last week in his Umuokrika Umuoba home in an exclusive chat with Edge Express while expressing his views on the arrest of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Director of New Media, Ambrose Nwaogwugwu.
The human rights activists stated that based on the information available to him (unverified) if the accused was actually signing press releases on behalf of the governor which has been denied by the governor’s press secretary, it means that he must have been engaged in unprofessional activities.
According to him, ‘’unprofessionalism has its own cost and consequences. You cannot claim to be a lawyer, when you did not go to law school or be called to the bar in Nigeria. To be a journalist and you are not an SA, PA to the governor and you are not found anywhere where the governor has office, then you now took over the mantle of leadership on the governor’s side of the media, doing their work, anti the government of the day, it calls for a lot of questions.’’
He recommended that appropriate punishment should be meted to anybody in breach of such actions, but posed some questions assuming that the above did not happen and Nwaogwugwu was just doing the work of the opposition.
The anti-corruption lawyer however questioned whether due process have been followed in the arrest and handling of the accused matter.
In his words, ‘’was the arrest legal, was it invitation or arrest, did the DSS follow due processes to invite someone, processes for questioning, processes to prosecute someone, all these processes must be followed to now declare that the accused would have over stayed in the custody for more than a day or two.’’
He acknowledged that propaganda and freedom of speech are part of governance and also remains the beauty of democracy.
Madukaji expressed the need for NUJ and other media groups, bloggers associations, to regulate the conduct of their people adding that a lawyer can never criticise for example the Supreme Court but can criticise the judgement.
Media people should work within the ambits of professionalism to avoid unusual occurrences such as this, criticise the government constructively and objectively, say the things rightly the way they are supposed to be, giving necessary facts and not otherwise,’’ he added. He dismissed as different the false propaganda coming from the government media machinery alleging that former governor Ihedioha came to the legislature to beg for clemency stating the case in question is capable of misleading the public to take a wrong decision or view of the government.