Stakeholders in the pen profession have begun consultations on modalities of reviving the Nigerianl Union of Journalists(NUJ) from total collapse.
This decision according to them followed “the dastardly and regrettable outcome of the just concluded National Executive Council(NEC) meeting held in Abuja, where caution as regards constitution, rule of law and ethical journalistic practices were flagrantly disregarded by the leadership of the union, masterminded by the President, Chief Chris Isiguzo.
“The meeting, which was presided over by the NUJ President Isiguzo himself, deliberately violated the NUJ constitution by approving 4th October, 2021 as the date of the delegates conference (election day) which is less than two months to the end of the mandate of the current Central Working Committee.”
A statement by a Veteran of the Union, Mr. Wuyah Peter, states that the development is contrary to the NUJ constitution which stipulates that the credentials committee should be given three months to organize an election.
“Article 6 (1) of the constitution says that “a candidate for election into any of the national and state offices shall be nominated and sponsored by two financial members of his council or chapel filling a prescribed form with two passport photographs of the candidate and his curriculum vitae with photocopies of credentials shall be forwarded to the National Secretary to reach him not later than three months in the case of national offices and six weeks for the state council offices before the date of the elections.”
The statement which recalls that during the time of his predecessor, Waheed Odusile, the need arose and Odusile sought for extension of time to align with the rule of law, expresses apprehension that the process of rigging which will turn the union into more turmoil has just been put in place by President Christopher Isiguzo.
The statement also highlights as among other issues of serious concern that President Isiguzo insisted that the election should be held in less than two months which contradicted the union’s constitution. He also padded the list of delegates of some state councils that are his supporters.
“For example, his state, Abia, which had 16 delegates in the 2018 delegates conference in Abeokuta, was now allocated 20 delegates, while Enugu moved from 25 to 30 delegates, Cross Rivers from 16 to 20 delegates, and Ebonyi from 15 to 18 delegates.
While issues of safety and security were raised by the Vice President Zone F, Edward Ogude, about the choice of the President’s home state for the delegates conference, he was ignored and in a mob like fashion, the election was moved to Abia State.”
The statement notes that Journalists who are meant to be the role models in the society should not drag themselves into the mud for pecuniary and egocentric gains, but should rather project it’s dignifying and elegant responsibility.
It appeals to Isiguzo to tread softly and stop being too desperate adding that “what’s going to be, is going to be.
“We appeal to Isiguzo to retrace his steps to avoid laying a catastrophic presence in the history of the union.
“The union means a lot to us, we have been there and we recall with nostalgia the good old memories. Don’t allow power and political motives to squander the future of the union through you,” it adds.