The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information, Mr Olusina Thorpe, has called on journalists in Lagos and other South West zone to rise above personal interest and ensure the promotion of national interest and national unity.

Thorpe made the call during a courtesy visit of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) South West zone to the ministry

He advised that journalists must always be on guard and ensure that they are not used as cannon fodder by persons seeking the disintegration of the country.

According to the Permanent Secretary, those fanning the embers of separation do not know the devastating effect of war, noting that Nigeria as a country is not perfect but the country is a work in progress.

“When people come with their own side of the story, let us interrogate the stories and find out what their interest is.

“We as journalists must be very careful; we must use our platforms to see the good we can contribute to development of Nigeria, ” Thorpe said.

He urged the NUJ to always remember that it is a professional body and should always play up the professional aspect of the union, adding that “If you are a professional there are certain expectations, there are certain yard sticks, there are certain outcomes that people are looking forward to”,

He said that Nigerian journalists must always engage in the Nigerian question, adding that Nigerians must always speak positive of the country.

Thorpe said that journalists must show extra care not to play into the hands of those who wanted to burn the country, adding that “we must always look for what is the positive aspect in our country and promote it.”

“When people come to us with news, when people come to us with their own side of the story, let us interrogate what is their interest, is their interest in the best interest of Nigeria?

“As we say in Rotary, is it in truth, is it fair to all concern, will it build goodwill? Because all those who are fanning embers of separation, they do not know.

“Those who witnessed the civil war, they will never pray to witness another one.

“ This country is not perfect, no country is perfect but it is always work in progress.

” So I want to enjoin us as professionals to rise up against personal interest, sectional interest and business interest,” the permanent secretary said.

Adeleye Ajayi

Tunde Olalere