Journalists covering the national conference have challenged the Secretariat of the conference to produce proof of the 350 pressmen which the secretariat claimed were accredited to cover the national assignment.
This was the reaction of the media practitioners who attended the one day media round table on reporting the national conference organised by the National Orientation Agency last weekend.
The journalists who were reacting to the speech made by veteran journalist, Mr Ray Ekpu, that he was informed by the secretariat that 350 journalists were covering the conference, challenged the former Newswatch co-publisher of playing to the gallery in his presentation at the workshop.
Ekpu who described the figure as big as against the 492 delegates had taken a swipe on the press, describing them as lazy, incompetent and a group that has not reported the true version of the national conference’s proceedings.
Using his lapdog, attack dog and watchdog analogy, he called on the press practitioners to refrain from the lap dog and attack dog example and become the watch dog ever prepared and skilful to watch and defend the country at all times.
Earlier the Minister of Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke, has corrected that his ministry did not receive 30 billion budgetary allocation, saying that since the creation of the ministry in 1990, the ministry has not been allocated beyond N3 billion.
Duke stated that his ministry was not in disarray as media reports had carried in the recent past urging the media to ensure that only true and accurate information were reported at all times.
According to the Minister, reportage of the national conference calls for higher sense of patriotism and professionalism as “it is a building block of the Nigeria of our dream, he said.
The Etsu of Karu, His Royal Highness Luka Panya Baba, eulogized the media and stated that it is the only vehicle for the remotely situated Nigerians to garner information. According to the monarch, 98 percent of the people in his domain depend on the traditional institution to get information due to their limited access to both print and electronic media.
He appealed to the media to ensure that information dished out were accurate, true and objective noting that if did not get accurate and true information from the media as his only source of information, he might not be in the position to inform his people.
Earlier, the Director General National Orientation Agency Mr Mike Omeri, who organised the workshop, had said since the objective of the conference was for the unity of the country, he enjoined the media to ensure that objectivity and unity is maintained in their reports by placing national interest above other considerations.