Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Dowen College, Kemi & Oromoni: Clarion call on NUJ against fake journalists - ITREALMS

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Is Kemi Olunloyo a journalist? The question is rhetorical but valid in knowing why just anyone can decide to be called a journalist. Therefore, it is important that the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ, a union I am proud to be a member of, should dissociate itself from this character.

Israel Ayegba Ebije
It is also important for the NUJ, to officially highlight the criteria for people to attain before calling themselves journalists.
You cannot call yourself a lawyer or doctor without due process in training and in character, so it’s not fair to the news consuming public and practitioners who are trained and experienced to practice to be disrespected by questionable characters parading themselves in borrowed robes. In Canada or the United States of America, the practice of journalism is highly regulated. In most cases, you may have to be a permanent resident or citizen, trained or certified by an accredited school to practice journalism.

Allowing the Kemi of today to falsely go about as “investigative” journalists only mocks the profession and it’s hard working professionals. It is time to preserve the dignity of the profession by weeding out fake or criminal minded practitioners. Kemi and her co travelers must be called out and shamed if efforts are properly deployed to put an end to crimes perpetrated by people who know nothing about media ethics. It is worthy of note that criminals on cyberspace pretending to be journalists are making money from their trade in falsehood. The likes of Kemi have some followers who are gullible, uninformed and ready to go down the pit of hell with her. Many more will join her on a one way mission to the sea of misinformation, another not in her camp may be persuaded to believe journalists are liars – just the way police are bribe seekers and politicians are corrupt.

The NUJ should as a matter of fact openly dissociate itself from Kemi. The disclaimer should come with a declaration which will recommend requirements before a person can be addressed as journalists. Expected in the proposed cover letter is a warning on crossing professional red tapes of the practice of Journalism. Just like the rules restricting other professionals with consequences to their practice, the NUJ should also be able to “dis-pen” an erring practitioner. They should learn from the lawyers who get disbarred for misconduct.

A bad journalist is like a corrupt policeman. The “EndSAS protest was on account of a few corrupt policemen who killed, maimed, kidnapped young vibrant Nigerians in their depraved quest to make money. It is therefore not impossible to find police officers who are out and about doing their very best in fixing the society with professional policing. I once read of a female police officer who spent N400,000 of her own money in treating a young injured man. She had no relationship with him before the chanced meeting while she was on duty.

Kemi Olunloyo at 57 years old has lost in the affairs of honour when it comes to issues of credibility. I shouldn’t be worried over her puerile behaviour on social media but for the fact that her recent comment insinuating that the young Sylvester Oromoni agreed to be beaten and poisoned in the failed cultism saga. We may recall that the kid was bullied to death by some students for refusing to join a secret cult. It is Indeed abuse of social media usage, desecration of the profession of Journalism and preying on the grieving parents and disrespect for the dead following her reckless comment. I recall that she claimed her revelation against Sylvester is on account of “investigative” journalism (sic) . It is not enough that the grieving parents have concluded plans to take her to court, NUJ should use her case to make a statement against fake practitioners.

I therefore recall that Kemi stood out like a sore tongue on social platforms describing the shooting of innocent EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate as fake despite overwhelming evidence, videos, eyewitness accounts and presentation of crippled victims, hospital records of the dead. I also recall that this fellow was arrested and detained for cyber bullying, falsehood and reckless comments against pastor David Ibiyemie. I also recall that this woman was deported from Canada in 2012 for bad conduct. She has always been associated with ignoble deeds. Always on the opposite of reality. Choosing journalism satisfies her dark desire to insight or stir up unnecessary tension in the society – a behavior left unchecked would be counterproductive to journalists.

Journalism is a noble profession that throws light at hidden details in society with the aim of keeping people informed, entertained and educated. It is a profession where practitioners take pride in what they do to maintain balance, call for accountability and probity in governance. Bringing an institution of such immense influence in the society to disrepute, only points towards disastrous consequences.

The media is expected to be the conscience of the ruling class, the advocate of the masses and the unconstitutional parliament where every view is offered equal representation. The media is expected to put the people and government in check with seamless information, entertain without sentimentality and educate without stains of cultural imperialism. Social media platforms have over the years allowed a floodgate of activities of fraudsters under the guise of journalism. This trend must be stopped going forward.

This is however not to say credible, purpose driven social media practitioners are not helping to correct the injustices in the system. There are very credible online organizations helping as whistleblowers, setting the agenda for mainstream journalists to beam searchlights on virtually every issue negating a peaceful society.

Democratization of the mass media of Information and communication was hailed by Marshall McLuhan in the 1960’s as a new down where people will have opportunity to choose what they choose to take, eclipsing the dictatorial hypodermic needle delivery on what a clique of cabals want the people to know. The likes of Kemi are using this great profession to cause unrest, panic and woes, while they profit financially from their wickedness. The NUJ should speak up now!



*Contributed by Israel Ayegba Ebije, former Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, writes from Canada and can be reached via: ebijeo5@gmail.com or @ebijeisrael. Culled from TheEagleOnline.

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