…Group hails FCT Minister over appointment of journalist as media aide
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory, Dr Babatokpe Ajakaiye, has described journalists as beggars.
But the permanent secretary is a shinning example of corruption in an administration that claims to be fighting the scourge of graft.
This is coming as a group, Society for Good Governance (SGG), hailed the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, for appointing a journalist as his media aide in his first act in government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Press Week of the FCTA Chapel, the crooked permanent secretary described journalists as “beggars” and warned information officers to distance themselves from journalists if they are desirous of excelling in their career.
“I am not proud to be a journalist. I want you to de-emphasis your membership of the NUJ which is just optional. They are beggars. You are first, civil servants and information officers, and you must prepare for leadership. I look forward to the time NUJ will fight newspaper houses that do not pay salaries.
“Why do we have journalists that are not paid? Why do we have journalists that would have to be begging when they come for an assignment, why is it so? I have no answers. I want information officers to find these answers and tell our colleagues, instead of fighting other members of the society
“I want to see the NUJ closing down the newspaper houses that are not paying. I want to see the NUJ telling publishers who emphasis on awards to make money, that, this is not the practice of the profession,” Ajakaiye gloated.
In a classic case of pot calling kettle black, the permanent secretary, who may be forgetting so soon how he rose to his position on the back of journalists and media budgets throughout his ignoble career as a civil servant told the information officers to avoid journalists like a plague.
The Infrastructure News is in the picture of how the holier than thou perm sec appropriated a proposal written by a journalist, inaugurated a committee and proceeded to implement the proposal.
“When I heard what he said about journalists, I laughed because his position is a case of pot calling kettle black. In Nigeria, official hypocrisy is now part of our governance template. This is a man who deceived a patriotic journalist whose desire was to see to the progress of his own administration, collected his proposal in what Nigerians call 419 style, took credit for the project, cut all channels of communication with him.
“As soon as this was done, he inaugurated a committee to implement every aspect of that proposal without as much as commendation for the author of the proposal. This is called corruption by a senior official of a government that has change of attitude on the part of the citizenry as a mantra.
“The Nigerian journalist is an endangered specie. He won’t be paid salary by his publisher, he won’t be paid his entitlement by his publisher after many years of service and his proposal would be stolen and implemented by senior officials like Dr Ajakaiye. Why won’t the Nigerian journalist be a beggar when like an orphan, he ‘s been deserted by all and sundry and deprived of everything that belongs to him by a corrupt system?
“By Dr Ajakaiye’s actions, he means to say that a beggarly journalist is all good to initiate what he described as a “brilliant proposal” but is not qualified to be given credit for his work or be part of the implementation”, a source familiar with the matter lamented.
Meanwhile, a group, Society for Good Governance (SGG) has commended the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory for appointing a journalist as his media aide on his first day in office.
In a statement issued in Abuja, National Coordinator of the group, John Duamlock, commended the minister for showing regard to the journalism profession.
“We commend the minister because on his very first day in office and his first meeting with FCTA Press Corps, he appointed one of them his Special Assistant on Media. We thank him and all those who partner with the media to move the nation forward.
“Unlike his Permanent Secretary, Dr Babatokpe Ajakaiye, who claims to have been a journalist for 32 years, even though we do not have such records of oppressors as journalists, he prefers to deride news men without a single record of any meaningful contribution to the growth of the profession is his 32 pathetic years as a civil servant”, he said.