I DIDN'T SAY JOURNALISTS ARE CORRUPT â€“ AKEREDOLU
President, Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has denied recent reports in the print and electronic media that he, described journalists as corrupt. In a statement entitled: 'Apology to my Brethren,' Akeredolu declared that at no time did he issue such a 'blanket statement' against journalists and by extension, journalism. He explained that what he actually said was that journalism like law profession, was not immune from corruption.
'I wish to deny categorically that at no time did I ever issue such a blanket statement taking an unjustifiable swipe at journalists and, by necessary deduction, journalism.
'I condemned the attitudes of certain practitioners in all professions in highlighting the debilitating effects of corruption in the polity. I, however, said that Journalism as a profession, just like Law, is not immune from the affliction of the virulent malady.
'Those who have been following my activities since I came to office as President of NBA cannot but accept this position as a proximate reflection of my stance against the malaise of corruption in whatever form.
'I offer my sincere apologies to our friends and colleagues in the journalism profession who may have been hurt by the news. We have been partners in the process of rebirth in the nation since our assumption of office. No denigration was ever intended against journalism as a profession or their persons,' he stated.
Akeredolu noted that the invaluable contributions of journalism to nation building could not be forgotten so soon, stressing that the names of fallen journalists who paid the supreme sacrifice for sharing in the undying dream of a better Nigeria would remain evergreen.
According to him, 'Dele Giwa, Bagauda Kaltho, Abayomi Ogundeji, Bayo Ohu and others, who died in the course of upholding the tenets of this noble profession, cannot be tarred with the brush of corruption for a reward of applause.
'The contributions of those who still hold aloft the banner of rectitude, exposing the ills of the society cannot also be wished away with a speech, regardless of the extent of the grandiloquence.'
While urging the practitioners of journalism, law and other professions to be truthful in all their dealings, the NBA boss lamented that there were some elements who still gave the profession a bad name.
'I note, with satisfaction, the concurrence of the NUJ (Nigerian Union of Journalists) on this notorious fact in its release. We must all join hands to flush out undesirable characters from our professions,' he said.