By Tony Adibe
A former Accountant General of Enugu State, Prof. Paschal Okolie has reprimanded journalists for not living up to expectation in holding Nigerian leaders accountable.
Prof Okolie said that as watchdogs of the society, journalists should hold the political office holders accountable but than do that, he said that the newsmen often compromised their position and thus loose the teeth to bite and the voice to bark.
He said: “Journalists compromise their position and that is why it is difficult for them to hold those in authority accountable.”
Okolie made the assertion while delivering a lecture at a four-day Audit Reporting Training workshop organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Frontfoot Media Initiative in conjunction with MacArthur Foundation for journalists from the South East held at the Hilton Leisure Resort and Hotel, Awka, Anambra State.
He insisted that assuming the media, the Fourth Estate in the Realm, do their job well, the society would be the better for it, but regretted that journalists hobnob with those in authority and thus compromise their position.
In his opening address, the chairman of Frontfoot Media Initiative, (FMI) Sully Abu said the media had the onerous task to hold the leaders accountable so that they don’t mismanage or misappropriate the public fund.
“Abu, while explaining the relevance of the workshop said: “Accountability lies the soul of any organisation. State governors almost holds everybody to ransom and hardly do what they are supposed to do.
“If we are to rebuild this country, we have to hold those in authority accountable by doing our jobs professionally as journalists. We must not sit and lament without doing something. What we must do lies within our powers as journalists.
“We inform the people but how well equipped are we? We need to retrain journalists to be abreast with the trend in the society.” Abu said that the training workshop could not have come at a better time than now the country is passing through several challenges such as insecurity, corruption and all that.