2023: NUJ calls for caution among politicians
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Akwa Ibom State Council has called for caution among politicians ahead of the 2023 general elections urging them to desist from causing disaffection among journalists for selfish interests.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the monthly Congress of the union jointly signed by the State Chairman and Secretary, Mr Amos Etuk and Dominic Akpan and the Chairman, Communique drafting Committee, Mr. Akan Esinwang.
The Union stressed that journalism is a profession and not a political chess board.
The Communique reads:
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council at its April, 2021, Congress, attended by 285 members deliberated on many issues affecting the Union, the profession and the State and resolved as follows:
“That the ongoing effort by the Akwa Ibom State Government to pay the entitlements of retired primary school teachers and families of deceased teachers since 1991, is a welcome development and Congress commends the government for the initiative.
“Similarly, Congress commended Akwa Ibom State Government for the ongoing recruitment of teachers into primary and secondary schools, but noted that 1000 teachers for each school system is like a drop in the ocean when placed side by side with the teacher to students ratio, particularly in the rural areas and appealed to the State Government to increase the number.
“In a related development, Congress urged the State Government to declare a State of Emergency for recruitment into Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC, and Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation, AKNC, publisher of the Pioneer Newspaper, to grow the service, following multiple retirements of staff over the years and deaths.
“While Congress gave the State Government a pat on the back in its efforts to tackle insecurity in the State, it, however, appealed to the State Government and security agencies to step up their game as the attacks have assumed a new dimension. Congress suggested to the State Government to consider setting up a local security network and explore other initiatives in communities to compliment the efforts of the security agencies.
“That ahead of the 2023 general elections, Congress frowned at the undue heating up of the polity by politicians and urged them to desist from causing disaffection among journalists for selfish interests, noting that journalism is a profession and not a political chess board.
“Furthermore, and in line with the earlier resolution of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in Uyo, few years ago, which banned the formation of splinter groups, spurious organisations and beat associations, Congress gave a final warning to members on the issue, resolving that the full weight of sanction(s) will be enforced on any erring journalist(s) henceforth, without any option of apology. This is to protect the integrity, sanctity and strength of the profession. However, journalists who were recently linked with a splinter group in the State were pardoned and their apologies accepted.
“In addition, Congress urged the State Government to look into the issues in Peacock Paints Company Ltd., which is at a comatose stage now with non – payment of staff salaries for many months, inspite of the huge capital government committed into the revitalisation of the company few years ago.
“In line with NEC resolutions, Congress set up a three man committee to set a template for the implementation of a Cooperative Society for the State Council.”