By Patrick Obia And Araga Blessing
Following the World Day to End Impunity and Crimes Against Journalists on 2nd November every year, veteran journalists, Richard Akinnola and Cletus Ukpong, have called on practicing journalists to put in their best and not allow financial benefits be their focus.
The veterans gave the admonition while speaking as guests on Hit 95.9 FM regular Sunday program “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” where they both affirmed that, journalism profession is a calling and should be practiced with passion.
Mr. Richard Akinnola, a pro-democracy activist, posited that it is either you are a journalist or you are called to make a living.
“The issue of people not soldierising. The truth is that, is either you are called a journalist or you just came to make a living, those are the two set of people. Those who have come to make a living because they couldn’t get a job, are the ones always talking about oh you people are extremists or in parlance (your own don too much self), you don’t have to allow yourself to be discouraged by such discussion because if you have passion for the job; if you want to embark on journalism with social relevance; how much? Saving the society, you don’t need to be discouraged by the laziers”. He ended.
On his part, Premium Times South-South Regional Editor, Cletus Ukpong, reiterated that journalism has to be Afr glorious again by weeding out negative elements from the profession.
“Some of the guys who are coming for this business, they don’t really have the passion for this job, any little thing they give up. For us we have passion for this job; we don’t have any other thing to do, journalism is our calling and we are ready to defend this profession against our colleagues who even wants to destroy this profession, against outsiders who wants to destroy this profession. We need to develop passion for this work we are doing; when we have passion, there is nothing anybody could do to make to bring us down or divide us that will work. We will continue to do this work, am not surprised at anything and more terrible thing could happen.” Cletus said.
On the impunities against journalists, the veterans inferred that every freedom has a corresponding responsibility, calling on journalists to watch each other’s back and be their brothers’ keeper as well as collaborate with one another.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is a UN recognized international day observed annually on 2 November.
They demanded the immediate release of the host of this radio program Citizen Agba Jalingo, Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and board Chairman, Association of Cross River Online Journalists who was abducted from his Lagos residence on August 22nd 2019 and has since been in custody.
He was detained for 32 more days at a police black site facility with limited access to him until his arraignment on September 25, 2019 for the hearing of his bail.
Jalingo is facing charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.
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