His style of journalism has always stirred my mind.
Before he got arrested by the Police in August this year, I was an ardent reader of his regular posts that served as reminders of the number of days that are left for Senator Ben Ayade to serve as Governor of Cross River State.
Those posts equally identified and explained what Agba Jalingo considered as unfulfilled promises that require the Governor’s attention.
Well, my post isn’t meant to recap any of Agba’s posts.
It is only meant to recall the fact that on Monday, August 13 2018, Agba Jalingo delivered a talk on the ethics of journalism to over 200 students of journalism in CRUTECH.
I invited him to deliver that pep talk as part of my tradition of inviting some accomplished journalists and other role models to inspire my students.
On that “August occasion” in August, Agba Jalingo enjoined my students to contribute meaningfully to the growth of Nigeria.
He never spoke about lawlessness or disloyalty to constituted authorities.
Rather, he dwelled on the need for integrity and rectitude in journalism.
Jonathan Abang Ugbal of CrossRiverWatch accompanied him on that occasion and also briefly addressed the students in the same vein.
My students felt inspired by the presentations.
I imagine that they are baffled about Agba’s incarceration on alleged charges of terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.
If they get as baffled as I imagine, I am concerned about how they now perceive journalism.
Would they practice as fearlessly as they should or cower with fearfulness as they shouldn’t?
The outcome of Agba’s trial may provide answers to those questions.
Meanwhile, Agba Jalingo is scheduled to reappear at the Federal High Court in Calabar for trial today.
My students and I wish him fairness and justice.
Mr. Cornelius Ellah is a lecturer in the department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) and writes from Calabar.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Cornelius Ellah and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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