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Journalists’ officials with political appointment should resign – NUJ President

…Urges creating roles for Monarchs. 

…Canvasses equal opportunity for all political parties by states.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

High Chief, Chris Isiguzo, NUJ President

President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), High Chief, Chris Isiguzo-led National Executive Council (NEC) has directed all elected members of the Union currently holding political appointments to resign from their Union positions or offices.

The directive was contained in the Union’s elaborate communiqué issued at the end of her NEC meeting held in Benin City, Edo State capital, on 11th November, 2022, and made available to all states councils.

The meeting, attended by National Officers and all the State Councils’ Secretaries and Chairmen, came up with 17 key adopted resolutions.

The communiqué of the NEC meeting, signed by the National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman (Walin Shadalafiya), and drafted by Ronke Samo, Garba Muhammad and Ezenwa Adiuku, respectively, supported traditional institutions and urged NASS to create roles for it.

Participants, in the communiqué, stated thus: “NEC resolves that all elected members of the Union that get political appointments must resign from their Union positions.

“NEC also tasks governments at all levels to appoint only professional journalists to man media or communications-related positions and offices.

“NEC also frowned at situations where state governments make it very difficult or almost impossible for opposition political parties to have seamless campaigns in their states, advocating that all political parties be given equal opportunities, and stressed the need for security agents to put more efforts towards checking incessant attacks during political rallies.

“NEC extends gratitude to Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki, for the successful hosting of the NEC meeting in the State, and to Alhaji Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for facilitating the NUJ/FIRS Tax Conference also in Benin. 

“NEC dissolves the Caretaker Committee of Ogun State Council and mandates Chairmen and Secretaries of Chapels in line with the NUJ constitution to take over the running of the council. NEC also directs the VP Zone B to immediately inaugurate the new Caretaker leadership.

“NEC accordingly inaugurates the Chairman, Oyo State Council, Ademola Babalola, Adeleye Ajayi, the Chairman of Lagos Council and Kayode Babatuyi, Secretary of Ekiti State Council as members of the Credentials Committee for the conduct of the Ogun Council election. 

“NEC constitutes a three-member committee led by the VP Zone F, Opaka Dokubo, Assistant Secretary Enugu State Council, Ifoma Amuta, and the  Chairman Ebonyi State Council, Tony Nwizi, to look into the NAWOJ problem in Abia State with a view to settling it. 

“It canvassed support for Traditional Institutions and urges the National Assembly to consider creating constitutional roles for Traditional Rulers, especially in the fight against insecurity.

“NEC calls on the Federal Government to take proactive measures to mitigate the effects of flooding, which have ravaged many parts of the country.

“NEC urges government to put in place ecological mechanisms to prevent future flooding and intensify distribution of relief materials.

“NEC advises the Federal Government to declare a State of Emergency on federal roads across the nation because of their very bad nature.

“NEC charges governments at all levels and the Security Personnel to ensure the safety of journalists and media workers before and during the 2023 general elections.

“NEC harps on the key role of taxation in making growth sustainable and equitable and tasks the media to rise up to the challenge of informing and educating Nigerians on the importance of paying taxes.

“NEC directs the Secretary of Kebbi State Council and, by extension the State Council, to forthwith, withdraw the suspension of Blessing Michael of the Council and inform all the relevant authorities accordingly. 

“NEC describes the action of the Secretary as an aberration and flagrant breach of NUJ constitution.

“NEC reiterates the position of the Union’s constitution that ‘no council or chapel should give awards to individuals or organizations without the consent and approval of the National Secretariat,’ ” it added. 

Accordingly, it stated that, “NEC directs a stoppage to the situation where state councils unilaterally enter into agreements with individuals or organizations over union property without approval of the National Secretariat. 

“NEC calls on all state councils to submit a comprehensive inventory of property in their possession, including a list of all bona-fide financial members of their councils within seven days. NEC directs the National Secretariat to impose appropriate sanctions on defaulting councils. 

“NEC wants the Security Agencies to beef-up security around INEC facilities and media houses ahead of 2023 general elections.  “NEC commends the collaboration between the National Secretariat, INEC and Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) towards organizing capacity building workshops on 2023 elections and conflict sensitive reporting  across the country for journalists with the aim of preparing them better for the onerous task,” it stated.

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