By Ibrahim Abdul’ Aziz
PREMIUM TIMES editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed, has accused the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ (NUJ), and other media practitioners of abandoning their constitutional responsibilities of holding government accountable to the people in favor of seeking patronage from the corridors of power.
Mojeed, who was one of the resources persons at a seven-day training workshop organized by PREMIUM Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) for journalists and bloggers in the north east region , told reporters that instead of exposing their wrongdoings and corrupt practices, journalists now run after politicians demanding for cash by awarding awards.
He noted for instance that every year, media houses organize awards for politicians and their ‘man of the year’ is not the teacher or somebody doing an excellent job, but a member of the political class who in the real sense, may not have anything that makes him the man of the year.
He regrets that Nigerian media houses tumble over themselves to issue awards to bumbling politicians a trend which he said has contributed to the brazen manner politicians have been siphoning public funds.
He said, “We need to have a vibrant media but in Nigeria, the media are not doing what they should be doing.’’
He laments that in Nigeria, government owned and private media including the NUJ are more of government patronage rather than putting the government in check.
‘’ The NUJ must stop giving awards to political office holders, so when you give them awards, so how do you then report on these people? It (NUJ) has to compel owners of public media to allowed reporters and leaders of those organizations to do the right; that kind of investigative journalism.
‘’ If for instance General Manager of Adamawa TV is been victimized by government, the NUJ has the responsibility to stand up to say this is a professional let him or her do his or her job very well. Then the Nigeria union of journalists also they need to really stand up for journalists’ welfare to compel owners of media organizations to pay living wages to their employees.