Plateau NUJ organises memorial lecture for departed members

THE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau Chapter, on Tuesday in Jos organised a memorial lecture for its members who died while on duty.

The lecture was mainly dedicated to the Plateau Government press crew members who lost their lives on May 16, 2007 while on official duty.

The lecturer, Mr Joseph Ari, Director-General of the Industrial Trust Fund, spoke on “Journalism: Responsibility, Risk and Resilience in a Changing World’’.

According to Ari, a veteran journalist, journalists are the watchdogs of the society and may have enemies in the course of their duty.

“This lecture is dedicated mainly to eight of the Plateau Government press crew who lost their lives on May 16, 2007 while on official duty in Shendam Local Government Area.

“The life expectancy of a journalist can be compared to that of the military personnel; journalists have enemies in the course of their duty, and are killed in cold blood.

“Media organisations should provide a secure environment for their staff members to encourage them to discharge their duties diligently,’’ he said.

Ari advised journalists to establish a security pattern before going to any hostile environment.

In his remarks, Mr Mohammed Nazif, the Plateau Commissioner for information, thanked journalists for contributing positively to the development of the society.

He said that the Plateau Government was operating an open door policy and was willing to collaborate with journalists.

Mr Gideon Barde, the Chairman, Nigerian League of Journalists, said that fallen journalists should be remembered annually like military heroes.

He urged governments and other stakeholders to create an enabling environment for journalists to discharge their duties efficiently.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the occasion was used as a funder raiser for N50 million for Plateau NUJ’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre.