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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Soludo Has Interests of Journalists at Heart — Aburime


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Mr. Christian Aburime, the Chief Press Secretary to the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has said the Governor was not wicked, but has the interest of Journalists at heart.

Mr. Aburime stated this in Awka while speaking with journalists in response to the communiqué recently issued by the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State, and which was jointly signed by the Chairman, Dr. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu and the State Secretary of Union, Comrade Aloysius Ofodile.

The Union had, in a communiqué from its June Congress, said the Governor’s decision to shut down National Light Newspapers portrayed his government as wicked and without human face.

The statement partly reads: “Congress frowned at the reckless manner in which National Light Newspapers issue is being handled and called on the staff to be absorbed in the Ministry of Information as anything contrary to welfare of workers shall boomerang.

“Congress frowned at the ill treatment to journalists by Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo led administration which led to his shutting down National Light Newspapers without any reason made public, thus portraying the his government as wicked and without human face…”

However, Aburime, while addressing newsmen on Monday, vehemently refuted the claims made by the Anambra State NUJ.

While shedding more light on the rationale behind Governor Soludo’s recent decision to close the National Light Newspaper, he reiterated the Governor’s unwavering commitment to the welfare and empowerment of journalists in Anambra State.

Contrary to the accusations of being wicked, Mr. Aburime said Governor Soludo had consistently demonstrated his commitment to a free and vibrant press in Anambra State. He also highlighted the Governor’s active participation in various NUJ events and engagements, which, he said, showcased his genuine interest in understanding the issues faced by journalists and seeking solutions to address them effectively.

“I have always represented Governor Soludo at NUJ events; and that is not just symbolic; it is a testament to his dedication to maintaining an open and transparent dialogue with the media community. He values the role of journalists as the watchdogs of democracy and has always been willing to listen to their concerns and suggestions,” he said.

The Governor’s press secretary also pointed out various initiatives undertaken by the administration to enhance the welfare of journalists in the State. These initiatives included providing training opportunities, establishing a robust framework to protect media freedom and ensure journalists can work without fear or intimidation, among others.

“It is disheartening to see such allegations of wickedness and recklessness against a Governor who has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the well-being of journalists and the press freedom,” Mr. Aburime added.

“Governor Soludo’s decisions are guided by a desire to promote good governance and drive sustainable development in Anambra State, and his actions have always been in the best interest of the people,” he added.

As concerns continue to emerge from various sections concerning the closure of the National Light Newspaper, Governor Soludo’s press secretary urged the media community and the public to approach the issue with an open mind and consider the broader context in which the decision was made. He assured that the Governor remained receptive to constructive criticism and feedback and will continue to foster a strong and collaborative relationship with journalists in the State.

Mr. Aburime, in conclusion, re-emphasized that Soludo’s track record in supporting journalism and promoting press freedom speaks for itself. He also urged all stakeholders to work together towards building a vibrant media landscape that can effectively contribute to the growth and development of Anambra State, towards making it a livable and prosperous homeland.

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