A former Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Subsidiary Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo has sealed a pact with Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ to build and improve professionalism among journalists in Akwa Ibom.
He has also refuted speculations of his membership of a confraternity, describing such speculations as mischievous.
Inoyo, a former National President of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria spoke as a special guest at the July Congress of the union in Uyo last weekend.
He commended the contributions of journalists towards the development of society and urged them to revive the good old values of hard work, discipline and character in the discharge of their professional duties.
Inoyo announced a N500,000 annual media award in honour of veteran journalist, Chief Ray Ekpu to encourage investigative journalism, professionalism and diligence in media practice in Nigeria.
“I have thought of what I could do as my little contribution to the NUJ in Akwa Ibom State with regards to this matter. Anywhere that I have gone in this world when people talk about journalism, one individual comes to my mind first.
“He is a great son of Akwa Ibom State, an international award-winning journalist, who rose from a position of insignificance to that of global prominence. It is in honour of this high priest of quality reporting that I hereby request the Exco to accept the institution of this annual award.” He stated.
He appealed to journalists not to sacrifice professionalism on the altar of political correctness, saying, “as we all know, hard work, discipline and character, have taken a back seat in our society. Those amongst you who continue to drum into our ears the need to act with honour and do things properly are now viewed as prophets of old. You are chastised and left to lurch in solitude.
“It has now become fashionable to be ‘correct’ in your reporting, not wanting to stir the hornet’s nest. So, let me upfront salute those who have decided to remain steadfast, bold, and honest; determining not to behave as if everyone is captured by an incubus or succubus powers.” Inoyo said.
The ex ExxonMobil VC noted that for journalists in the state to be taken seriously, they must ensure that they weed out quacks in their fold.
“Let me draw your attention to one more thing which you can do for yourselves, and by extension, society. It is called differentiation. Many self-styled journalists may be doing damage to this noble profession. You must help separate the wheat from the chaff so that the integrity of journalism remains undiluted.
“Just this week, we woke up to a screaming headline in one of the state-based tabloids suggesting that I had a meeting two months ago in Calabar with His Excellency, Donald Duke, and the reporter must have been so important to be privy to Donald’s conversation with Governor Udom Emmanuel that ‘Inoyo is a Hard Sale’.
“This is a complete falsehood and a mischievous creation of a fiction writer. While I will never bother to debunk such falsehood, it would be better if all practitioners would uphold the basic tenets of journalism in their daily practice, which includes Truth, Accuracy, Objectivity, Social Responsibility, etc.” He said.
He expressed concern over the alarming rate of cultism in the state and called on stakeholders to explore ways of addressing the root causes of social vices, noting that such vices, if not attended to, may consume everyone in the nearest future.
Chairman of the state council of the NUJ, Comrade Amos Etuk thanked Mr. Inoyo for instituting the annual award, donation of laptops and cash support towards capacity development of journalists in Akwa Ibom.