A group, Freelance Journalists Federation, has advised Governor Peter Mbah to desist from sponsoring groups and individuals to throw tantrums on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and its Director General over his certificate saga.
The group in a statement signed by its convener, Richard Oduma, said the advice became necessary following findings it made that the governor had deployed N100 million to be used for publications aimed at attacking the personality of the NYSC DG and the institution.
According to the group, it was curious that the media has continued to write unabated on a matter that is already in the law courts for determination.
“The spate of sponsored publications against the NYSC and its management could suggest that the Governor is foreseeing imminent failure in the courts and tribunal, thus, resorting to the deployment of state resources to lure journalists to castigate the integrity of the NYSC.
“As a group concerned about the sanctity of the journalism profession especially as it relates to promotion of good governance and defense of human rights, we are compelled to intervene on this issue. Worried by our findings that a whooping sum of N100 million has been deployed to influence journalists and columnists to write stories attempting to absolve the governor of Enugu State and castigate the NYSC and its management.
“We are particularly worried that governor has embarked on this trajectory by going personal and irrational against the law rather than concentrating on providing good governance within the time he is in office. We urged journalists to avoid the temptation of allowing themselves to be used by politicians to fight personal interests as it negates the essence of journalism.
“The governor should, as a matter of fact, inject the funds used to fight imaginary enemies for the good of the government and people of Enugu State. It is regrettable that he will spend his few days in office fighting vain and selfish cause with the state resources”, the group stated.
It further averred that if the governor fails to heed to its advice, it will be compelled to doubt every certificate he has tendered and consequently, probe every credential he parades.
“Governor Mbah should use the resources at his disposal to pay backlog of salaries, pensions and other entitlements of retirees as well as address the several other developmental issues requiring funds rather than plundering the state resources in a bid to intimidate the NYSC and its management”, the group added.
They called on the general public to sieve whatever publications made by compromised civil society groups and other individuals against the NYSC and allow the judiciary to adjudicate on the matter.