Rev. Fr. Christian Anokuru, Head Coordinator, Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, has called on journalists to rebrand the country by reporting fearlessly, as demanded by the ethics of their profession.
The priest made the call during Sunday’s Thanksgiving Service at the Madonna Catholic Chaplaincy, Umuahia, to kick start the 2019 Press Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia.
Anokuru, who is the administrator and chaplain of Madonna Catholic Hospital, said that journalists were the eye of the nation and the mouthpiece of the poor.
He said, “It is your duty to rebrand Nigeria and to tell us the truth without being afraid.
“It is the fact that you are exposed to danger, owing to the nature of your work, but nothing should deter you. God will always protect you.”
The cleric warned against pride as well as judging others; urging all to embrace the virtue of humility.
Explaining the Gospel according to Luke 18: 9-14, Anokuru said that the Pharisee, who claimed self righteousness, epitomised pride, while the Publican, who admitted being a sinner, showed humility.
He said, “The righteous despised the sinner and that is what God hates. We are not to judge any one; rather we should pray for such a person. Judgement is for God.
“Even as a nation, the problem is that we fail to recognise who we are. We pride ourselves as giant of Africa, but to what extent are we maximising the opportunity given to us?
“We are just like the Pharisee whose action contradicted his spirituality. So, we must match our words with our actions.”
In his remarks, Chief Obinna Ibe, Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, thanked the cleric for the wonderful opportunity to worship in the Chaplaincy.
He said the decision to kick start the Press Week with a thanksgiving service was in recognition of God’s mercy in their lives, despite the precarious nature of their work and for the success of the programme.
He said that the annual event would continue on Tuesday with a free medical outreach at the NUJ Press Centre, Umuahia.