20 August 2020 by Shakirat Alabi
The FCT Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) this week played host to a delegation from the National Orientation Agency who were on a one-day advocacy and sensitization campaign on adherence to COVID-19 guidelines to the State Working Committee (SWC) of the NUJ at Utako, Abuja.
Addressing members of the NUJ Exco, leader of the delegation, Mrs. Ijeoma Abganusi, a deputy director, who represented the Acting. Director, Mrs Mary Tanko, commended the role of the media in the FCT, in educating and sensitizing the public on COVID-19.
Mrs Agbanusi said the easing of the lockdown nationwide was not an indication that COVID-19 was over and that the Press as the fourth Estate of the Realm had a big task to dissuade the people from wrong notions that COVID-19 was a gimmick.
“Mere telling us to go back to our businesses, schools, or telling us to go back to our offices does not mean that there is no COVID-19 again.”
“It is still there. It is still killing people. Many of our close associates will ask you whether you have anybody to show them that is suffering from COVID-19 before they will believe you. But of recent…We had a medical doctor from a well known hospital who died from the disease. If such a high medical personality bowed to COVID-19 is it you and I that COVID-19 will respect?” Queried Mrs Agbanusi.
The N.O.A delegation called on members of the NUJ to do more as frontliners to positively impact on the society through their personal conviction and adherence to laid down protocols in order to enforce public compliance.
In his response, the FCT NUJ Chairman , Comrade Emmanuel OGBECHE, said at least 10 members of the NUJ in the FCT had been infected with COVID-19 but luckily all came out alive.
“They have all at one time or the other recounted their experiences and have become ambassadors and advocates for people to observe COVID-19 protocols as put in place by the National Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.”
He said the council under his watch apart from fumigating the premises to safeguard her members from COVID-19 had provided over 16,000 Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) such as facemasks and hand sanitizers to its members.
The Council also provided more than 450 protective suits to resident doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists working in the frontlines, the NUJ Chairman said.
The NUJ Chairman while acknowledging that NOA had a critical role to play in sensitizing the public towards taking responsibility for their wellbeing called on its leadership to engage faith-based organizations, and also appealed to the Federal Government to pay hazard allowance to Journalists and other media workers.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of public awareness fliers and leaflets from the National Orientation Agency to the Council.
The NOA delegation was received by the Council Chairman Comrade Emmanuel OGBECHE, Council Secretary Comrade Ochiaka Ugwu, Treasurer of Council, Comrade Aisha Ali Kadala and Assistant Secretary Comrade Emmanuel Tortiv .