Journalists in Abakaliki representing all arms of the media on Wednesday assured the Ebonyi State APC gubernatorial candidate, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji of fair and unbiased reporting and coverage of his campaign and other activities leading to the election next year.
The journalists under the umbrella of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) gave the assurance at an introductory interactive with the Director of Media of the Ogbuoji campaign, Ikenna Emewu.
Emewu, a journalist himself, had met the journalists to introduce himself after his recent appointment and solicit their support for his work and his principal, Ogbuoji during which he explained the great leadership qualities of Ogbuoji and why the journalists should be open and warm towards him.
He had assured them that he is convinced of the outstanding qualities of the guber hopeful and why he remains the best choice for the state now.
In their responses, all the journalists that spoke assured Emewu that they have not dropped the core ethics of the profession which include fairness, hearing all parties and not taking sides in political activities.
They stated that all contestants are their targets of reporting and none is left out and they have no reason to work against, under-report or distance Ogbuoji whose contest is legit and lawful.
As they promised Emewu all their support and openness in his assignment, they also stated that they don’t have any records that Ogbuoji’s tenure in power would be of any adverse effect to their profession and no reason whatsoever to be against him.
‘We are not against anybody, because that is not consistent with the ethics of our profession and the APC candidate should feel free to reach us whenever he needs the services of the media, and it is the same promise and commitment we have for all the candidates in the state at all levels and offices.’
As is their professional calling, the journalists used the opportunity of the interactive to ask for clarification on certain issues in the campaign so far.
Comment on Umahi as product of Government College Afikpo
On this, Emewu explained that there is no way Ogbuoji would have disparaged the school that has produced notable personalities, but was trying to say that someone had been through some unknown schools before he came to Afikpo to brush up his credentials.
However, because the PDP camp had been doing their best to turn the statement to mean that he cast aspersion on schools in Ebonyi or the state as inferior to his, Ogbuoji’s alma mater secondary school, Government College, Umuahia, Emewu clarified that in the days Umahi and Ogbuoji were in secondary school, there was no Ebonyi State in existence. Afikpo and Umuahia were in the same state of Imo and therefore the skewed interpretation is mere mischief and baseless.
Challenge to a debate
Emewu also assured that as already reported copiously in the media, Senator Ogbuoji is more than qualified with outstanding educational background to stand any debate Umahi challenges him to and is waiting for the day of such to be organized by core independent and professional body. Ogbuoji was trained and weaned of inferiority with good educational pedigree in UNN. He is a Lion, he is not shy or intimidated by anybody. That someone is reticent in comments or doesn’t like running to the media to be heard all the time doesn’t mean he is bereft of what to say. This is the time for the distinguished senator to talk, and he would talk in very meaningful roar.’