From SUNNY A. DAVID:
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo’ move to sack over hundred journalists and other media workers in the State by closure of the National Light newspaper, is fast becoming real as the Commissioner for Information, Chief Paul Nwosu, on Monday, said the government was considering a report to that effect.
National Light, if closed, will likely loose many staff reporters, desk officers, account officers, advert managers, drivers, stringers, cleaners, correspondents and others operating from Anambra, Abuja, Lagos, Rivers, Enugu States and other parts of Nigeria, if not redeployed to relevant offices thereafter.
According to him, the Anambra State Executive Council (ANSEC) was considering the issue of the oldest print medium and would make their stand public any time available.
The Commissioner’s statement came out on Monday while responding to a statement entitled ‘Re-cornucopia Governor Soludo’s Aversion for Anambra State Journalists, Real or Imagined?’ a supposed counter authored by the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, which among other things, urged the Governor to redeploy staff of the newspaper to relevant government organs.
“In his contentious write-up, Odogwu claimed that the SSG, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu has finished writing a letter to close National Light Newspaper and Printing Corporation; and once Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, signs it, the organisation will be closed for good.
“This is not true. The issue of National Light is still being intensively considered by the Anambra State Executive Council (ANSEC), and as soon as there is a firm decision, the news will be formally made public, but not through a grapevine or a mole,” Chief Nwosu stated.
The Governor’s aide also claimed that Prof. Soludo was in love with Journalists and has prerogative role to appoint new board, while trying to explain reasons behind the government delay in appointing board for the print medium.
“Odogwu accused me of not including the Board of National Light Newspaper among those to be dissolved by Mr Governor. This shows his limited understanding of how government works.
“Commissioners don’t dictate to Mr Governor which Board to dissolve or constitute. These responsibilities are purely the prerogatives of the Governor,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, one staff of National Light newspaper in the Governor’s crew has been dropped by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Abaurime from covering government activities.
The reporter said that when he came as usual to cover the Governor’s activities, Mr. Abaurime asked him to leave and that he is no longer needed.
When contacted, Press Secretary to Governor Christian Abaruime denied telling anybody to leave the Governor’s office since he is no longer needed.
Mr. Aburime, in a statement, denied the allegations, demanding “Who told you that? Can the person come and say it before my face?”