Partner with Govt. to Build South-East, Nation – Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu Urges OMPAN

The Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu has called on the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria(OMPAN) and other media practitioners in the country to work closely with the government at all levels to help build the South-East zone and the nation at large, said as the watchdog of the society, they should point the right direction for people to follow by selling Nigeria positively to the world.

The Deputy Speaker who made this disclosure while interacting with the members of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria who paid him a courtesy visit in Umuahia, said media practitioners as critical stakeholders play an important role in the development of every nation while inviting members of OMPAN and other media practitioners in the country to join hands with him to sale Abia State, South East zone and  Nigeria positively to the world.

Continuing, he urged journalists to help put the political leaders on their toes by engaging them constructively to ensure accountability and transparency through investigative journalism and well-researched information, advising them to avoid making hasty conclusions leading to churning out pieces of information to the public which is capable of destroying not only South East zone but Nigeria.

According to him, “You are nation Builders I said so because you put leaders like us on our toes. Make sure as a watchdog of society that you point in the right direction on what needs to be done and I beg of you to do so constructively to avoid churning out pieces of information that can lead to the underdevelopment of the country.

“So, I urge you to learn how to use your job appropriately, criticize constructively and use it for nation-building. Put some effort into what you are doing.

“A good journalist should be interested in investigative journalism and invest in research rather than a hasty conclusion which temporarily you will embrace incentives but in the long run, people will not take you seriously.

“I desire to work closely with you so that we can sell the South East positively and Nigeria to the world. Stop looking for bad news to get traffic, the more you publish the bad news, the more you scare away the investors.

“Sell the State, sell the nation, talk about good things and project them, sell the good aspects of our leaders and do not create fear, the panic that is what I noticed journalists are doing these days. Please play it down because the more you do it, the more you put fear in people. You have a role to play as  Journalists as nation builders.

“We need your help when it comes to peace in the South East. The entire South East has for the first time come together because people are in pursuit of peace, security, and unity and you have a role to play in ensuring that peace.

“It is not politics, It has to do with healing the hearts. What the government thinks before is that the kinetic approach can achieve peace, but we are taking bold steps on how we can build peace using the non-kinetic approach.

“We want to embark on various interventions to heal the wounded hearts in the South East and we started by lobbying for the  South East Development Bill, in which we will use the Federal Government fund to rebuild the South East and the damage caused by the war.

“Guns can not fix our broken hearts, barrels of guns can not rebuild the damaged infrastructure. Peace in the South East Project (PISE-P) is lobbying for a bigger portion that will bring a bigger picture. Join hands with us and be an advocate of peace in South East ” he pleaded.

Kalu who promised to support and partner with OMPAN, urged members to upgrade their knowledge of new media space and noted that it is becoming highly competitive, especially with Artificial Intelligence.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria and leader of the delegation Chief Promise Uzoma Okoro said they came to pay a courtesy visit to the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives to congratulate him on his elevation as the Deputy Speaker as well as to interface with him on the area of information and communication.

In his closing remarks, the National President of OMPAN Mr James Emeh expressed appreciation to the Deputy Speaker for the audience giving to the association as well as his promise to partner with the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria.

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