The Young Citizens of Nigeria (YCN) has asked Imo State government to reexamine the basis for the indefinite suspension of journalist, Vivian Ottih.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Director of Media and Publicity, Augustine Nwaobi which was signed by Chairman, Comrade Ekene Okonkwo.
In the statement, YCN advised the administration of Governor Hope Odidika Uzodinma to thread cautiously on issues of public importance, adding that the suspension of the chairperson of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) over the request for the payment of three months salary is totally bad for the image of the State.
Recall that the government of Imo had suspended Mrs Ottih indefinitely for using Facebook to pass on the request for her salary, after an official report claimed that her action was an “embarrassment” to the government.
But YCN insisted that one of the characteristics of a progressive government is the ability to respond positively to issues affecting citizen’s welfare, stressing that no well meaning administration will hurt a citizen for demanding salary for work done.
The statement reads: “Let’s begin by saying that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. We consider it rather antithetical for the government of Uzodinma that had enjoyed massive media support to clampdown on a senior editor of commendable records.
“An adage has it that you think of water when the well is empty. Imo governor should know that his decision to stop the work of NAWOJ chairperson is an attack on every journalist in the State, by extention, it’s a confrontation loaded against the entire media industry, probably aimed at silencing members of the fourth estate of the realm.
“We therefore call on the governor to address the issue raised amicably in a way that will foster the delivery of free press. He should know that a matter that affects a journalist anywhere in the world is of global concern, hence the need to manage it with wisdom, and not the recalcitrant haste that greeted the Ottih request.
Advising further the statement urged the Imo number one citizen to embrace the challenge with a positive attitude, adding that it’s counterproductive for a leader to exercise power without caution on matters of workers welfare.
“Before the issue begins generating negative reactions worldwide, we urge Imo governor to do the needful by cancelling the indefinite suspension previously declared on Vivian Ottih. The governor should understand that as a senior editor, the chairperson was instinctively mandated to speak for NAWOJ and shouldn’t be punished for being a good leader.
“A worker deserves wages; for a productive staff what is expected is promotion and recommendations. Mr Governor, tell workers when their salary would be paid. Go further to recommend Ottih for big career assignment so that other members of staff can be motivated to give their best in any capacity for the general good of the State.”