The Oasis Reporters
August 10, 2021
The process of rigging seems to have been put in place by the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Chris Isiguzo at the just concluded National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
The meeting which was presided over by the NUJ President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo deliberately violates 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.
This is contrary to the NUJ constitution which says a credentials committee should be given three months in which 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 which shall be forwarded to the National Secretary to reach him not later than 3 months in the case of national offices and six weeks for the state council offices before the date of the elections”.
President Chris Isiguzo insisted that the election should hold in less than two months which contradicts the union’s constitution.
He also unilaterally 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, now has 20 delegates allocated to it, 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, he was ignored and in a surprising turn, the election was moved to Abia, his home State.
Most members of the NEC did not seem happy but because of his dictatorial disposition, they chose to keep mute.
The NUJ NEC Communiqué:
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) HELD AT THE NUJ PRESS CENTER UTAKO, ABUJA, AUGUST 7, 2021.
The National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists held its meeting in Abuja with all the National Officers as well as Chairmen and Secretaries of State Councils in attendance, and came up with the following resolutions:
1. NEC supports the position of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria – BON calling for a complete review of the digitisation process specifically in the area of legal framework. It notes that the only document available remains the Government White paper of 2012 which does not capture contemporary technological developments and it is deficient in addressing decade long issues that have emerged since its issuance.
2. NEC notes with concern the high rate of insecurity across the country and calls on the Federal Government to overhaul the security apparatus with a view to combating incessant killings, kidnappings, banditry and other criminal activities ravaging the country. Efforts should also be intensified to effect the release of 136 school pupils still in the kidnapper’s custody in Niger State without further delay. More importantly NEC encourages the Federal Government to make public the list of those sponsoring criminality in the country as earlier promised by the Attorney General of the Federation.
3. As a further step towards improving the security situation in the Country, State Governments should be allowed to establish state police to complement the existing security architecture.
4. NEC calls on the Federal Government to summon an urgent conference of stakeholders to map out strategies to avert the impending food crisis in the country, as a result of insecurity.
5. The poor state of Federal Roads across the country is affecting the economy and wellbeing of Nigeria, and NEC after reviewing the situation, calls on the Federal Government to prioritise the construction of additional rail lines and rehabilitation of more roads for effective transportation.
6. NEC expresses regret that more state Governments are now unable to pay salaries of workers as and when due, including pensions and gratuities. NEC calls for urgent measures to check this dangerous trend in addition to creating more employment opportunities for the teeming youth to guard against restiveness. NEC believes that all State Governments should be put to task in terms of payment of the national minimum wage, while efforts should be intensified towards the implementation of New salary structure for media workers in Nigeria.
7. Safety and security of journalists have become priority issues and NEC expresses worry over the high rate of intimidation and attacks on Journalists in the country by both Agents of the State and Freelance Actors. It thus charges the Federal Government to urgently wade in and avert its escalation.
8. NEC appeals to the Federal Government to dialogue with Resident doctors to end the ongoing industrial action which has already subjected many Nigerians to untold hardship. The FG should also return to the negotiation table with ASUU to prevent an impending strike.
9. NEC in session calls on State Governments to prioritise on projects that have direct relevance to the yearnings and aspirations of their people, rather than embarking on White Elephant projects.
10. That Sportswriters who dissociate selves from the NUJ should henceforth cease to enjoy patronage of the Union including using the facilities of NUJ anywhere in the country. Only sportswriters who pledge allegiance to the State Councils of the NUJ at the State levels would henceforth be recognised.
11. NEC in session has approved the 4th of October 2021 for its 7th Triennial National Delegate slated for Umuahia, Abia State, and set up an Electoral Committee with National Officer, Garba Muhammad as Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee.
1. Abdullahi Isma Yamadi – Secretary Zone A
2. Adetona Aderoboye – Chairman, Ondo Council
3. Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe – Secretary, Abia Council
Shuaibu Usman Leman