Na wa o. How can Governor Okorocha be accused of not being media friendly? This is what Pointblanknews is reporting:
“Publishers of newspapers in Imo State have accused Gov. Rochas Okorocha of not being media friendly. They stated that the action of the Imo government has impacted negatively on media business in the state. The publishers said Okorocha has in his words and deed shown lack of regard for the media, particularly those located in the state. Chairman of the Independent Newspaper Publishers Association (INPA), chief Bright Chimezie disclosed this to journalists after a meeting of the group in Owerri, the state capital.
Chimezie further stated that apart from not patronizing the local publishers, Okorocha has refused to approve payment for the advertisements which some officials of his government placed in the newspapers of some members of INPA last September. He said the publishers have made efforts to appeal to Okorocha to approve the payment of the debts, all to no avail, even as the officials insisted that they could not pay without the approval of the governor. Chimezie who is also the publisher of Nigeria Horn newspaper hinted that the publishers tabled the matter before the governor at a breakfast meeting last year and even reminded him at an end of the year press briefing held at his country home, Ogboko, last December. He called on the governor to fulfill his promise of approving payment to the publishers to save the local media industry from collapse.
The INPA boss expressed regrets that the newspapers which were flourishing prior to Okorocha’s coming are now finding it difficult to survive and yet the governor continues to travel to Kosovo, China and other countries wooing investors when the ones at home are gasping for patronage.
Another publisher who did not want his name in print said, The situation has taken a negative toll on our operations. In my organization, we have been owing workers salaries since November 2011. This has affected the morale of our staff. Okorocha should come to our aid by approving the payments.
He should see the publishers as stakeholders who are here to contribute their quota to the development of the state. INPA provides employment to more than 5000 people, who also have dependents. The industry here is dying, he lamented. Pointblanknews.com gathered that Imo state has the largest number of local newspapers in the South East geo political zone, while most of them now owe salaries since June 2011. Recall that journalists in Imo state boycotted a democracy day press briefing to mark Okorocha’s first year in office. The governor is also alleged to be playing hide and seek game with the executives of the Imo state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), whom he had declined to meet with, since they were elected.