Rift between Abia NUJ and Governor’s Chief Press Secretary deepens

Posted by Kalu Oko, Umuahia | 16 March 2017 | 2,242 times

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•Abia Governor’s CPS, Enyinnaya Appolos.

The rift between the Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of the state, Enyinnaya Appolos, appears to be deepening as the Council has accused the CPS of using his position to create a parallel Council of the NUJ in the state.

This accusation is contained in a Press Statement issued by the Chairman of Abia NUJ, Comrade John Emejor. The three-page statement made available to News Express in Umuahia Wednesday is titled: “Move by Gov. Ikpeazu’s CPS to Create Parallel NUJ Council in Abia State.”

News Express learnt that the statement was in response to a news report in one of the national dailies where Appolos insinuated that the Chairman, since he does not work in a newspaper house, has no right to address others as amorphous journalists.

The Chairman maintained that statements credited to the CPS in the news report has confirmed the position of the Council that the Governor’s image maker was a greenhorn and lacked the experience to man the office of CPS.

Emejor’s statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to a news report in Daily Sun of Wednesday, March 15, 2017 emanating from the purported visit of an amorphous group that calls itself the “Federated Chapel, Aba, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)” to the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Enyinnaya Appolos, in his office on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

“The CPS was among other things, quoted to have “tasked the national leadership of the NUJ to redefine the membership status of the body,” adding that “anybody who has no link with any media organisation should not be seen as a member of that noble profession.”

“The report further said that “the CPS spoke against the backdrop of a letter purported to have emanated from John Emejor-led NUJ, Abia State Council, addressing other registered Journalists in Aba as amorphous Journalists.”

“The CPS was quoted to have said, ‘If someone who cannot lay claim or identify himself with any media house could address registered Journalists in such manner as amorphous Journalists, I think that the issue should be looked into.’ Unfortunately, the report deliberately did not mention the names of leaders and members of the said chapel.

“I wish to state here that following the arrogance and impudence of the CPS, a Congress of Abia Council in February approved that a petition be raised to the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, requesting him to redeploy the CPS because of his inexperience and incapability of rising to the demands of that office.

“In the petition, it was stated that the CPS has publicly stated his preference for an “amorphous group,” in Aba to other Journalists practicing in the state.

“I wish to state that the CPS used the occasion of the purported visit of the ‘Federated Chapel, Aba,’ to respond to the petition even when his principal is yet to react to the said petition.

“His response vindicates our assertion that he is a greenhorn in Journalism, ignorant and knows nothing about NUJ.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). This immortal statement was further amplified by one-time American President, Mr. James Jefferson, that, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.”

“The CPS appears to be operating out of course. This is his bane.

“The Constitution of NUJ, dated November 2011, Article 6 (11) explicitly defines who is a Journalist. According to the NUJ grand norm, “Every Journalist from Reporter to Editor in the Print Media, or Manager, Director or Controller of News in Electronic Media, Director of Information in the state and Federal Ministries of Information” are Journalists, provided that they have professional qualifications, as provided in Article 3 (1, 2a & b); including that the fellow must be in good financial standing by possessing valid licence/NUJ Identity Card as well as pays his Check-off Dues as at and when due.

“I humbly wish to posit publicity that I am a Director of Information in Abia State Service. Furthermore, I wish to state that the role information officers play in the business of collating processing and disseminating of public information/communication, from rural to international platforms, can never be over emphasised.

“Come to think of it, is Mr. Appolos insinuating that lawyers in Ministry of Justice, Doctors in Ministry of Health, Accountants in Ministry of Finance, etc, are not professionals because they are working in government offices and parastatals?

“The so called Aba Federated Chapel of NUJ is unknown to Abia NUJ Council. Who is their Chairman; and other officials? The CPS is attempting, by subterfuge, to create a parallel NUJ Council in Aba by renting and furnishing an office for the so-called Federated Chapel, Aba that he is promoting, without first ascertaining the status of the members.

“The CPS should tell the world who conducted the election and inaugurated the chapel and when; and how many of them have valid licence/NUJ identification card.

“I have thoroughly searched the names of chapels and practicing Journalists in our official books, unfortunately, I did not find their names and that of their ‘chapel’ there. The conclusion of the matter, therefore, is that any Journalist that is not operating in line with the constitution of our great Union is an amorphous member, and their chapel is also amorphous. It is clear to us that the CPS is using his position to sponsor division in Abia NUJ and encourage quackery in the profession. A word is enough for the wise.”      

Source: News Express

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