By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, has urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Anambra State Sector Command to also find means to educate and orientate motorists and motorcyclists in the State, rather than just apprehending and punishing the defaulters of road traffic rules.
NUJ gave the advice during their monthly Congress for the month of June, 2023, which held at the Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, NUJ Secretariat, Awka, Anambra State capital.
The journalists, at the Congress, raised concern about the spate of reckless driving by motorists and motorcyclists in the state, which they believe, has resultant effects on the rate of road traffic crashes in the state.
The journalists also expressed optimism that proper road traffic education and regular orientation of the motorists and motorcyclists would be more effective in addressing the challenge, rather than just apprehending and fining the offenders.
The NUJ, in a communique issued at the end of the Congress, therefore, appealed to the motorists and motorcyclists in the State to shun reckless driving, while also appealing to the FRSC to intensify efforts towards educating road users aside apprehending those who break traffic rules.
The communique, which was jointly signed by the Chairman of NUJ, Anambra State Council, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu; the Secretary of the Union in the State, Comrade Aloysius Ofodile; and the members of the Communique Drafting Committee: Comrades Abuchi Onwumelu, Sunday Elom, and Ogochukwu Nwaokafor, also highlighted, raised and addressed other issues of interest to the Union, the State, and nation in general, as were discussed at the Congress.
The Communique read in full: “The meeting was presided over by the Chairman, NUJ Anambra Sate Council Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD.
“In his opening speech, Comrade Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu welcomed members and thanked them for coming despite the fuel price hike and the untold hardship it has created in the country.
“Congress urged the political class and others to see journalists as partners in progress rather than as rivals.
“The Congress called on the Government to appreciate the enormous work of journalists in the state and also recognize the journalists as the 4th Estate of the realm in the state.
“The Congress called for collaboration and partnership. The Congress also called on every journalist to endeavour to identify with the Union by belonging to a Chapel.as the union has about 20 Chapels in the state.
“The Congress appealed to the Government to apply human face while deliberating on the issue of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, ANPC (Publishers of National Light Newspapers) considering its historical and symbolic value to the State and workers. The Congress also frowned at the rumours of shutting down National Light and asked government to reconsider it’s intentions for journalists are prime for any society to thrive.
“The Congress resolved that going forward, anyone or organization who constitutes nuisance for journalists carrying out their lawful duties will be treated as an enemy of the Union.
“The Congress once again expressed its readiness to carry out their job as the mouthpiece of the people without fear or favour.
“The Congress appreciated the efforts of the security agents in addressing the issue of the insecurity bedeviling the state and enjoined the security agents not to rest on their oars.
“The Congress appealed to commercial motorists and motorcyclists to shun reckless driving while appealing to the FRSC to intensify efforts towards educating road users aside apprehending defaulters. The Congress urged FRSC to use safety education to ensure that the road crashes are reduced to the barest minimum.
“The Congress called on its members to be security conscious and make safety their watchword.
“The Congress commended the Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo led state government for embarking on massive road construction and rehabilitation of failed portions of roads in the state.
“The Congress urged the government to continue, noting that the importance of good road network cannot be overemphasized.
“On transport, the Congress appealed to the government to make available subsidized government’s vehicles that will convey workers to and fro work to cushion the effect of the hike in fuel pump price.
“On environment, the Congress called on the people of the state to imbibe the spirit of cleanliness and endeavour to keep their environment clean. The Congress frowned at indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the waterways and undesignated places.
“The Congress urged the DPR officials to please look into the unbearable fuel pump price hike by fuel station owners in Anambra State and do the needful.”