COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) VIRTUAL MEETING OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2020.
NEC in session commends the National President, Chris Isiguzo for initiating discussions for partnership with the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in order to establish ‘Journalists Village’, and encouraged State Councils to form Cooperative Societies to enable the National Secretariat facilitate the process of Accessing funds from Bank of Industry (BoI) and other Financial Institutions for realisation of members’ housing needs.
NEC in session appointed a three-man committee to investigate where necessary, any issue(s) of litigations; and ensure that all aggrieved members withdraw all pending cases in court, while internal mechanisms are employed to resolve disputes. The three-man committee include: Adeiza Momoh Jimoh, Chairman, Kogi Council- (Chairman), Victor Udu- Chairman, Cross River Council,-(member) and Juliet Dim, Secretary, Imo Council- (Secretary).
NEC in session expresses concern over reported violent clashes ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states and calls on stakeholders to embrace peace and allow the will of the people to prevail. NEC calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible polls; and security agencies to protect the citizens, maintain professionalism and avoid partisanship.
NEC calls on the Federal Government to review the hike in the pump price of fuel and electricity tariff, that aside from the increment being arbitrary as it was done without consultation with stakeholders, doing so at this point in time when people were coming out of the coronavirus pandemic stress, imposes more economic hardship on Nigerians.
NEC insists that the Federal Government prevails on power companies to mandatorily provide every electricity consumer with prepaid meters so that people pays for electricity actually consumed.
NEC supports the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in its bid to ensure that workers are not made to suffer unnecessarily and urges labour to live up to expectations of workers and Nigerians by taking prompt and decisive actions towards ensuring that the government rescinds her decision on the fuel price and electricity tariff increment.
NEC condemns police intimidation and arrest of Nigerians who were protesting the hike in pump price of fuel and electricity tariff in Lagos, including journalists who were carrying out their legitimate duties of covering the protests. NEC reminds the government that protests against oppressive policies remain the right of citizens, which require that they are not only heard but protected by law enforcement agents in the process.
NEC also expresses dismay with the worsening insecurity in the country with the attendant killing and kidnap of innocent Nigerians almost on a daily basis and calls on the Federal Government and security agencies to step up efforts at securing the country. It says that economic development cannot take place when lifes and property of citizens and foreign nationals remain unsecured. NEC however calls on the citizens to cooperate with government and security personnel and support their efforts towards stemming the tide.
NEC calls on the Federal and State governments to address the challenges in the health sector which were further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It calls for increased funding to revitalise the sector.
NEC notes the recent threat and abuse of Charles Eyo, Daily Trust Newspaper’s Correspondent in Cross River State by former Aviation Minister Mr. Fani-Kayode, and the position of NUJ on the matter. NEC commends State Councils for rising to the occasion but however calls for stay of further hostilities and lifting of embargo on coverage of the former minister’s activities since he had apologised as demanded by NUJ.
NEC in session directs that henceforth press conferences must be conducted with full knowledge and notification of the state councils. NEC calls on journalists to always protect one another.
NEC in session reiterates her resolve to weed the profession of undesirable elements and advises the public to beware of quack journalists who go about giving awards in order to collect money from people. NEC directs State Councils of the Union to be at alert and report such quacks to law enforcement agents for arrest and prosecution.
NEC notes a recent meeting between the Nigerian Press Organisation, NPO, and the Minister of Information, over financial intervention to the media industry. NEC expresses optimism that such dialogue be sustained to yield positive results so that the Federal Government expedites action on the much awaited financial intervention to the media industry and save millions of jobs.
COMMUNIQUE DRAFTING COMMITTEE:
Kenneth Ofoma Lydia Wilson Talba Bulama,
Ag V.P Zone C Secretary, Taraba Council. Chairman, Borno Council
Snr Assistant National Secretary
For: National Secretary