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NUJ vows to sustain fight for freedom of information, expression

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NUJ vows to sustain fight for freedom of information, expression


The Nigerian Union of Journalists has reiterated  its determination to always insisted that Government does not tamper with the fundamental rights of freedom of information and expression of citizens.
The national President of the Union Chris Isiguzor who spoke yesterday at the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2020 said that was why he came all out to stand against the satanic anti people, draconian, hate speech bill at the national assembly and the Social media bill.
“We stood against them, we are still standing against them, we will continue to do so because any law that decides to pigeonhole Nigerians, any law or bill that decides to stop us from free expression will be completely rejected.
He said the reason is not far fetched because the very unique ingredients of responsible democracy is the right of the people to freely express themselves.
“Therefore NUJ as an institution would continue to ensure that nothing undermines this our democratic journey especially looking at the activities of our political actors who don’t seem to care about what happens it.
“I want to assure us that as journalists we fought seriously to ensure that Nigeria returns to democratic Government and we will also continue to ensure that nothing happens to it.”
He appealed to  stakeholders to explore the freedom of information act especially as it is not a media act or law.
“It is a law for every Nigerian whether you are a journalist, a tomato or paper seller in the market, please take full advantage of the freedom of information act so that you can access credible information.
“Access to crediblue information will always ensure transparency, accountability and will ensure democratic Government thrives.”
He challenged Government to do what is right by dealing with those who are fond of dishing out fake news especially in the social media to avoid the dangers inherent in disseminating fake news in the system.
He said journalists are not involved or part of disseminating fake news. “If it is done by social actors we need efforts to ensure that those involved are severely dealt with.”

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NUJ Zamfara chair debunks change of button news, says he remains in charge

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NUJ Zamfara chair debunks change of button news, says he remains in charge

The Nigerian Union of Journalists, Zanfara State  Chapter, has drawn the attention of the general public to a fake letter allegedly being circulated on social media that the NUJ Chairman Abdulrazak Bello Kaura from Pride FM Gusau has been transfered to Royal FM Sokoto.

The purported statement which was signed by the chapter’s Assistant secretary Nasiru Shehu Aula Dabbakal and was made available to the NationalUpdate in Abuja, earlier, had announced a change of Baton in the leadership of the State council of the union.
The statement had indicated that by the announcement the vice chairman Comrade Bello Muhammad Boko would serve as acting chairman pending a by-election that will bring in a new and substantive chairman.

The NIJ chairman Abdulrazak Bello Kaura
in his rebuttal of the statement  that was also made available to the NationalUpdate on Sunday in Abuja indicated that, “In the first instance the transfer is fake or a failed attempt by saboteurs and enemies of the profession and not political Union.
“During an illegal and deceptive meeting called by Assistant Secretary of the Union, members of the Union were threatened that the state government has directed them to address them and informed them about the purported transfer and decision to pick my vice, who I have had a good working relationship with to act as chairman.

“The arranged transfer by some elements who feel my position as the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zamfara State Council was blocking their chances to use the Union for their selfish interests to achieve their agenda has failed.

He said the fake letter being circulated by his secretary attracted the attention of concerned personalities and his humble self.

He therefore decided to set the record straight saying,
“I’m a staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Radio Nigeria Kaduna National Station, posted to Radio Nigeria Pride FM Gusau, a dedicated staff and peace-loving with appetite and curiosity to improving the journalism profession.

“It should be noted that the management of the FRCN has realized that it was orchestrated.

“It also should be noted that nobody served me with any transfer letter, not even verbally till this moment.

“It was a senior colleague on the 3rd of February, 2021 that drew my attention to a letter being circulated on New Media platforms, addressed to me but not served, that I have been transferred to Royal FM Sokoto.
“I quickly called my General Manager to confirm and he said he was unaware of such a transfer. 
“The Council Secretary, Malam Abubakar Ahmed, also called him for confirmation but the answer from my GM was also a ‘No.’
“I later realized that it was a contract by a former DG Press Affairs, who was seen lobbying NUJ members to support his move to unseat me.
“He was seen sharing money and pleading with them to do the “needful.” This was reported to me by some good Samaritans.

“Let me make it clear that I’m still a staff of FRCN Pride FM, Gusau and the substantive Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zamfara State Council who was elected in March, 2019 for a tenure of 3 years or 2 tenures of six years if reelected in the next election coming up in the next 13 months.
“Even if the transfer is true, the NUJ Constitution is clear about it in Article 6 (8)(9) and I quote: “If any officer retires or becomes unemployed, he shall be allowed to continue in office for six months after which if he is still unemployed and his case is not of such that the Union is fighting for his re-instatement, he shall cease to hold office and the post shall be filled through a bye-election.” However, he indicated that the rule does not apply in cases of acts of misconduct and criminal offences.’l
“An elected officer of the union who may have to be away for a period of two years, shall resign his office.
“The vacant office shall be filled in accordance with Article 6(8) of this Constitution.
10. No member of the union shall hold any particular office.”

With all the aforementioned provisions of the NUJ Constitution, he said the desperation blinds those behind the charade from seeing the truth and justice.

“I have never been faulted either by the SWC, SEC nor the Congress for any irregularity which made them to lose focus on where to start the contract they signed with politicians to unseat me as the elected Chairman of the NUJ Zamfara state Council.

For more clarifications, our Zonal Office sent a letter to the General Manager, Pride FM Gusau suspending the earlier transfer letter circulated on Social Media platforms by some unscrupulous elements (copy attached)

Another unfortunate disgrace to the NUJ and indeed its members he said was an unethical shameful announcement of the purported transfer on Zamfara Radio for two Days despite the notice debunking the transfer that was made availlable to the Chairman and the Manager News of the Radio Station.
“Their frequent live announcements misinforming the public that I have been transferred to Sokoto and my Vice was nominated in acting capacity was unethical.
He called on the National Broadcasting Commission; Nigeria Press Council; Civil Society Organisations and other relevant stakeholders as well as all well wishers of the NUJ and Journalism profession to intervene.

The National Leadership of our professional Union is at present working on the issue and I believe they will do justice to the matter as guided by the constitution and subsequently will met iutdeal sanctions on those working to mar the unity and integrity of the Union.

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Zamfara NUJ State Council announces change of baton in its leadership

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Zamfara NUJ State Council announces change of baton in its leadership

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zamfara State chaper has announced a change of Baton in the leadership of the State council of the union.
By the announcement the vice chairman Comrade Bello Muhammad Boko will serve as acting chairman pending a by-election that will bring in a new and substantive chairman.
The announcement was contained in a statement that was signed by the chapter’s Assistant secretary Nasiru Shehu Aula Dabbakal which was made available to the NationalUpdate in Abuja on Monday.
The statement indicated that
following the recent transfer of the council chairman, Comrade Abdulrazak Bello Kaura from Pride FM, Gusau, Zamfara state to Royal FM, Sokoto in Sokoto state, it became necessary to effect constitutional adjustments to avoid any vacuum.

The union assured the good people of Zamfara of a cordial working relationship .

The union also expressed its appreciation to the Governor of the State, Bello Matawallen, the Maradun Shatiman Sokoto for his support to members of the union.
The statement stressed that the union will continue to support the Matawalle-led administration especially in the fight against armed banditry through his peace accord and dialogue initiative.

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Commissioner advocates media practitioners’ involvement in farming

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Commissioner advocates media practitioners’ involvement in farming

By Friday Idachaba

Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, has appealed to Solidaridad West Africa, an international solution-oriented Civil Society Organisation (CSO), to train Media practitioners in the art of farming and investment in agriculture.

Edet made the call at a wrap-up workshop for CSOs and Media practitioners from Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States working on Oil Palm production interventions of Solidaridad West Africa on Thursday in Uyo.

The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Mary Bassey, implored Solidaridad to involve media practitioners not only as participants but stakeholders in the Agriculture sector.

“Please, take the media people as stakeholders and also train them to become farmers. Make them go into agriculture and make millionaires out of them. Agriculture is the fastest way to become millionaires.

“Farming, aside producing the food we eat and guaranteeing food security, is now a highly lucrative business which everyone must embrace to break the shackles of poverty,’’ she said.

Edet explained that Akwa-Ibom had taken Agriculture production very seriously and was producing pepper, tomatoes and onions from its greenhouse adding, that “very soon, we would begin to export our onions”.

Speaking earlier, Dr Sam Ogallah, Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and County Technical Lead, Solidaridad Network, West Africa said the media were drawn in as participants as part and parcel of the Solidaridad interventions.

“They are stakeholders in our work and if we want to transform the Agriculture sector in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck and the media have a very crucial role to play in transforming the Agriculture sector.

“We have seen the enormous task ahead and Solidaridad alone cannot do it.

“So,we need every person on board from the CSOs, the government, the media, the Private Sector and the likes for us to bring the change that really matters in the agricultural sector in Nigeria,” Ogallah stated. (NAN)

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