Jos - Tim Golu, former editor of the Leadership newspapers and Chief Whip, Plateau House of Assembly, has promised to ensure improved working conditions for journalists if elected into the House of Representatives.
Golu, who picked the PDP ticket to contest the Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Seat, promised to lobby his colleagues toward legislations that would encourage journalists to put in their best for the nation.
“Journalists have contributed a lot toward Nigeria’s survival and its search for greatness.”
“They fought for independence and also went through hard times to fight for democracy during the military regimes.”
“You also remember that the press has kept leaders on their toes. They have exposed many corrupt tendencies and challenged leaders against impunity and all manners of abuse of power.”
“I have always wondered what Nigeria would have been like without its vibrant and fearless journalists, but the irony is that these professionals work under very terrible conditions which I hope to bring to the fore, if elected,” he said.
Golu told the media, in Jos on Sunday that he would liase with other agencies toward a special salary scale for media practitioners, and stressed the need for owners of media houses to make the welfare of journalists their priority.
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He regretted that many organizations and individuals always sought to buy the conscience of the journalists, and pointed out that such was never possible if the journalists had a “fair living wage”.
The lawmaker also promised to ensure the full exploration of the Freedom of Information law, and declared that its effects were not being felt because some people still see it as affecting only journalists.
“The FOI law is supposed to benefit all, but some people still think it is only to help the media practitioners. This is wrong,” he said.
The former editor said that he had found his experience as a media man very crucial to quality representation, and explained that it was a huge advantage to balance political reporting with political activity.
“As a reporter, you challenge those in authority. As a law maker, you try to appreciate what leaders go through so as to draw a line between what is mere fantasy and what is really realisable, once the leaders are committed to it,” he said.
Golu promised to pursue development projects to help his “very rural constituency”, saying that its people were still battling with basic problems like bad roads, dirty water, dearth of health services and lack of bridges.
The media reports that Golu defeated seven other rivals to pick the ticket.
Golu would be seeking to replace the incumbent member, Rep Emmanuel Goar, who contested for the Plateau Central Senate seat but lost to the incumbent, Sen Joshua Dariye.