Governor Rochas Okorocha has called on Journalists in the Country not to relent in their criticisms of both governments and leaders because criticisms apart from acting as mirrors to those being criticized, they also put governments and leaders on their toes, but stressed that such criticisms must be constructive to be appreciated.
The governor who had spoken while declaring open the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) held at Concord Hotel Owerri on Friday, November 25, 2016 said that Journalists should also be prepared to appreciate governments and leaders doing well for the good of the people and society, and avoid writing to give the impression that nothing good could come out of the leaders of the country.
He told the NUJ Leaders “I urge you to discuss thought provoking issues. There is absolutely nothing wrong with criticism because criticism brings out the best out of leaders, but it must be constructive because you have become the only mirror with which a leader can gage their performance”.
He continued “I came into government out of passion and love for my people, am not in the job for primitive accumulation of wealth. I am for the glory, I want to be remembered as a governor who came, saw and conquered, hence, the developmental strides you are seeing in the state in just 5 years. Everything you see in Owerri capital that is new is courtesy of this government”.
According to Governor Okorocha “To succeed you must do something unusual. People do not believe till today that Imo is about the only state in Africa that offers free education from Primary to University. You can never hear about this, that no child in the state pays school fees upto University”.
“I started by dramatizing sacrifice, great leaders must learn to show sacrifice, Nigerians are not only crying about recession they are also crying about the life style of our leaders. What I see in Nigeria is that our past leaders sowed the seed of hatred in our society, there is so much hatred that we don’t appreciate ourselves again”.
National President of the NUJ, Alhaji Waheed assured that the fight against corruption is something the NUJ has taken to heart and committed to supporting and appealed to employers of Journalists to always pay them their wages and other entitlements.
Chairman of the State chapter of NUJ, Sir Innocent Igwe in his welcome address commended Governor Okorocha for making Imo a conducive state for the practice of Journalism, adding that after Lagos and Abuja, Imo has the highest number of practicing journalists of more than four hundred.