*Says he’s into politics to serve humanity
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Member representing Ohafia /Arochukwu federal constituency of Abia State at the House of Representatives, Hon. Uko Nkole, has donated 25 bags of 50kg bags of rice and a cash of N150, 000 to members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abia State; and their online practitioners counterparts as stimulus package for the covid -19 lockdown.
This is coming barely six hours after the former Editor of Leadership Newspapers, James Ume donated 100 bags of rice and 200 cartons of indomie noodles to the Abia State chapter of NUJ.
Ume was the first person to donate any palliative to journalists in the state who have continued to put their lives on the line in coverage of the pandemic even when most of them are not being paid.
The state government has only promised to “remember” them but is yet to fulfill the promise.
Handing over the items to the leadership of Correspondents Chapel and Abia Online Media Publishers in his Abam country home, Nkole said he was into politics to serve humanity.
He said he had always asked God to remove him from position of authority any day he stopped rendering help to humanity.
The lawmaker bemoaned the fate of journalists who he noted, sacrifice so much for society without commensurate reward.
He recalled his humble beginning and how he hawked processed bitter leaves on market days in the early stage of his life before God brought him to his present stage.
Nkole said he knew what it meant to be in lack, and assured of his continued support to Abia journalists.
” I know what people on the street are passing through because I was once there, and that has reinforced my passion to help out “, he said.
He urged journalists not to despair but sustain their efforts in keeping society abreast of the global happenings including sensitisation about covid-19 pandemic to help people know the safety guidelines.
Nkole particularly commended Abia journalists for their complementary roles in projecting the efforts of the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu -led administration in promoting made -in Abia products.
According to him, made -in Abia products are now a global brand courtesy of the media hype of the governor’s efforts in that direction.
Responding, the Chairman of Correspondents Chapel, Comrade Obinna Ibe, thanked the lawmaker for the gesture which he described as the first of its kind from any person in power in the state.
Ibe decried the plight of Correspondents in the state, disclosing that most of them are not being paid any salary and even those on salary have not been paid for many years.
He appealed to other public-spirited individuals and organisations including government to also factor in journalists in their stimulus package to assist them cushion the effects of the lockdown which he noted, were already talking a toll on journalists “as they are always on the field bringing updates on the happening when other citizens are indoors “.
His words :”I therefore wish to use this opportunity to appeal to government and people with the capacity to come to the rescue of journalists in Abia. We put our lives on the line daily without any insurance or assistance from any quarters. It’s our passion for the job that is propelling us but we have families, dependants and responsiblilities waiting for us at home “.
Adding his voice, The Chairman of Abia Online Media Publishers, Mr. Ugochukwu Nwankwo, commended the lawmaker for coming to the aid of media practitioners in the state whom he said had continued to render thankless services to society.
He prayed God to replenish for the gesture, and assured him of the support of media practitioners in his political career.