The Deputy governor of Abia state, Rt.Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu has commended the Members of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) for coming together to censor online journalists and bloggers.
He said the formation of the online regulatory body was apt as it would help the state government to know those who are career online journalists and those using the internet space to fight their perceived political enemies.
Oko Chukwu who disclosed this while having an audience with OMPAN members in the state, in the government House Umuahia, on Tuesday pointed out that online journalism has gained acceptance across the globe that people can no longer do away with reading articles published online.
“There is no gain saying the fact that in few years from now people may be left with no alternative than to read news only from the online news sites.
“This is because the online publishers has many ways of attracting your attention to read their stories.
“If they put it on facebook and you refuse to open your facebook page, they will send it to your whatsapp page and if you refuse to check your whatsapp messages, they will forward it to you as text messages.
“In a word the online medium has proven to be a veritable Chanel of information dissemination across the world today, he said.
He charged the association to take the issue of censorship among its members seriously, saying that it would help to checkmate the publication of fake news on the internet.
He assured the group of the readiness of the state government to partner her members in the state to make their operations hitch free.
Earlier in his remarks the chairman of OMPAN in the state comrade Ugochukwu Nwankwo, said the group was in the government House as part of its familiarisation tour with the people of the state since its new state exco were elected on February 2018.
He assured the deputy governor that members of OMPAN as information disseminators were ready to work for the progress of the state and its people.
He added that the sole purpose of forming the association was to ensure self censorship amongst online journalists and bloggers in Nigeria, particularly in Abia state.
On the delegation that paid the courtesy call to the Deputy governor includes the National President of OMPAN, Comrade Eme James, Mr. Emenike Iroegbu, OMPAN National secretary and the National Editor Mr. Ifeanyi Okali.