Nigeria: Journalists form new association to restore profession’s dignity

1. Concerned practising Journalists across Nigeria have risen from emergency virtual meeting and keenly observed with disgust that for over two years running, the way and manner the incumbent leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has drifted from the dictates of our noble Professional Union and Journalism practice to desperate aggressive pursuit of personal vendatta against practising members on one side and States Executive Council (SEC) members on the other side. This is besides the ochestration of ranckerious acrimony by the leadership against its membership. This in no mean saying the fact that all these have ravaged the spirit of unionusm at the Union’s eachelon Council.



2. The NUJ leadership hss become a sole administrator affair and nobody in either the NEC or CWC dare to speak out. The NEC and CWC seem to have been subsumed and conquered by their leadership whose academic qualification has remained a suspect.



3. The NUJ constitution has long been abandoned, just as leadership is being imposed on all the Councils where the  State Executive Councils (SEC) or State Working Committee (SWC) do not curry the favour of the union’s national leadership. And nobody can say a word for fear of being suspended indefinitely. 



A case in point is how the Council Chairman of Zamfara State was recently forced to resign to avert impeachment on him secured by the NUJ national leadership. 



The chairman of Kaduna was forced to apologise to the Leadership of NUJ for sharing a news story questioning veracity of the certificate with which the incumbent President tendered and on which he vied and was returned as elected President of the NUJ.. Yet, the issue of his qualification cannot be discussed because if any NEC/NEC dare raise it risks indefinite suspension.



4. Anarchy has taken over. Impunity is now the order of the day. Unfortunately no journalist is at home to save the once halowed union.



5. Court judgements against the unuon are not obeyed neither are they discussed at NEC/SWC meetings. Yet, there over 15 cases pending and petitions at the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).



6. That it is hereby resolved that a new umbrella body of practising journalists be registered as Association of Nigerian Journalists, ANJ.



7.   That it is detestable to note in particular, that from the outset of the incumbent leadership no Chapel or State Council in the South East have held free elections.



This is outright undemocratic and runs foul of union practice across the globe. 




The case is not different at the South West zone; the NUJ leadership must at all times install SEC members that shall abide by his biddings.



These has plunged the Oyo, Ogun, Imo, Enugu States among other Councils into unnecessary acrimony and  resources waste in a letigious sojourn. 




8. That this the first in history of the NUJ that an incumbent leadership is under criminal investigation by the ICPC and upon that NUJ NEC/SWC leadership has been on trial in several courts over his alleged certificate fuggery but the entire NEC/SWC members look elsewhere in search of sinecure where none exists.




9. That the leadership of NEC inordinately secured the suspension of an incumbent Vice President, South East, denying the zone fair representation at the NEC, an act which a court of competent jurisdiction has quashed and awarded a paltry sum of N5m as cost of litigation, but the NEC in utter disregard of that court order ignored its compliance and neither has there been any appeal in that respect, NEC chose to tow the line of criminal neglect of a subsisting court order.




10. At the recent NEC meeting in Asaba, Delta State, the same NEC leadership opted to clamp another suspension on the Vice President of zone B for yet to be disclosed aggression, but was compelled to rescind its move by a rumoured move to pass a Vote of no Confidence on its leadership. To counter such move, NUJ leadership lobbied for a reverse, and instead a voice vote of Vote of Confidence was reluctantly adopted to save a face.




11. Therefore, it is with utter dismay that some practising journalists across the nation opted for the registration of another umbrella body that shall champion the professionalisation of journalism practice in the country rather than the present use of the union as a venture for ego trip and personal aggrandisement at the detriment of other media practitioners at large.



12.  Registeration is on across States Councils for interested members who share the same discerning view of the veterans.


Contacts of the different States Councils shall soon be made public for interested members.




 *Prince AGWU, BENSON*

– Proterm National Executive Secretary – 

Association of Nigerian Journalists