Sports journalists charged to uphold professional ethics as Imo House of Assembly Deputy Speaker bags SWAN Award

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Sports journalists have been charged to keep to the tenets of their profession at all times and not engage in any act that could cause ripples in the discharge of their duties in the area of sports coverage especially in Imo State.

The Deputy Speaker, Imo House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu made this call in Owerri when he was conferred with the Distinguished Patron of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter on Thursday.

The lawmaker who expressed his delight at the award bestowed on him reminded Imo SWAN his late father’s exploits as a trained journalist before he ventured into business and politics and he called on the body to continue to play its watchdog role with the ethics of their profession as guide.

“I’m elated that the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo State Chapter deemed it fit for me to be bestowed with this quite honourable position of the Patron of SWAN,” the lawmaker representing the Nwangele constituency in the Imo House of Assembly began in his appreciative speech.

“You all know that my father was a journalist. I have immense respect for journalism because that is what he trained me with and from there he went into active business and politics. So my foundation is journalism. He didn’t just go into journalism by accident. He was a student of Mass Communication. He graduated from Mass Communication from UNILAG and did his NYSC. He was a core journalism. I respect journalists and I pray we continue to go through with the ethics of proper and professional journalism here in Imo State and beyond.

“For every time our appointment has failed does not mean I do not want to see you but because of the exigencies of my office. I also want to plead and ask for your forgiveness.”

Rt. Hon. Iwuanyanwu who is also the Imo House of Assembly Chairman, Committee on Sports exuded confidence that some difficult spells that Heartland FC are going through now would soon be a thing of the past.

The lawmaker also thumbs up SWAN, Imo Chapter for the constructive writings on Heartland FC and other sports in the state and he expressed that all the points noted by the Association would be looked into in subsequent weeks.

“We thank God for our football team Heartland FC. Yes, when a plane is about to take off it exhibits turbulence then before the plane stabilises and the pilot will say you can now unfasten your seat belts. We are getting to that point.

“I spoke with one of the principal actors in the LMC and he said to me after the match with Kano Pillars, that proper sanctions would be betterr out to the match officials that handled the game in Kaduna if they are found culpable.

“That kind of decision was made because Heartland FC has people like us that are not just backing it by words but with actions. By the grace of God, we are going to continue soaring high.

“Within the past one month, you have changed your perspective of reporting what is happening in Heartland FC into positive writings. It is very encouraging. It encourages to proffer solution to gray areas that are yet to be solved in the team.

“Every other thing we have asked for like the more open-door policy from the Imo Sports Commissioner, the Association’s outstanding in the course of discharging your duties and others will be seen to.”

Speaking earlier the chairman, Imo SWAN, Everest Ezihe rolled out what made the Imo House of Assembly, Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu to be qualified for the award and also thumbed up his philantropic gesture in the area of sports empowerment to the youths in Nwangele LGA and even beyond.

“Imo SWAN is very much appreciative of the Nwangele Youth Capacity Cup which is the first of its kind in your Local Government Area. We are aware that the competition you bankroll annually has made it possible for youths in your LGA to be empowered through football and some of them have secured lucrative deals in the Nigerian league,” Ezihe said.

“We ask that you continue to sustain this wonderful gesture. We request that SWAN, Imo Chapter should be more involved in the organisation of the competition from the next edition. We are also hailing the wisdom in which you are handling the affairs of Heartland FC despite the paucity of funds.”

The Imo SWAN Chairman equally charged the Deputy Speaker to use his good office to ensure that similar attention given to football and Heartland FC especially is passed to other sports like hockey, handball, wrestling, weightlifting, para sports and others that have brought the state honour and candour in the past.

“We also appeal that you give more dexterity to the coverage of other sports like Hockey, Handball and some other sports that we have excelled in the past.

“The infrastructural development in sports especially the refurbishing of Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri has attracted the attention of sportswriters in Nigeria. We are glad to be associated with such positive mileage on Imo government.”

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