Soludo moves to sack 100 journalists, close government newspaper

Over one hundred journalists and other media workers in Anambra state might soon lose their jobs if the governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, considers the ongoing plans to close down the state owned National Light newspaper.

The print medium which has staff reporters, desk officers, drivers, stringers, cleaners, correspondents and others operating in Anambra and most parts of Nigeria, is also facing challenges of poor equipment which sometimes force them to print from private institutions.

A staff of the newspaper (namewitheld) said the move to close down the newspaper was why the press secretary to the governor, Mr Christian Aburime, allegedly told him to return home as his services were no longer needed in the press crew.

But the Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, while confirming the move in a statement, Monday, stated that Anambra State Executive Council (ANSEC) would make public their decision regarding the closure of the medium after considering the issue.

Nwosu’s reply was contained in a statement entitled ‘Re-cornucopia Governor Soludo’s aversion for Anambra state journalists, real or imagined?’, a counter to a report authored by the state chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, which among other things, implored the governor to redeploy staff of the troubled newspaper to state ministries or radio station.

“In his contentious write-up, Odogwu claimed that the SSG, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, has finished writing a letter to close National Light Newspaper and Printing Corporation; and once Governor Soludo CFR, signs it, the organisation will be closed for good.

“This is not true. The issue of National Light is still being intensively considered by ANSEC, and as soon as there is a firm decision, the news will be formally made public, but not through a grapevine or a mole,” Nwosu added.