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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Awards: NUJ leadership, a monumental disgrace to Journalism - Senate Press Corps

Chairman of the Senate Press Corps, Mr. Cosmas Ekpunobi, has taken a swipe at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) over a disclaimer contained in a statement issued yesterday against the conferment of Awards by the Senate Press Corps.

Ekpunobi, in a statement issued and signed by the Awards Committee Chairman of the Senate Press Corps, Mr. Ezrel Tabiowo, lambasted the present leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists for bringing disgrace and disrepute by its conduct on the profession of journalism.

He also accused the state council of the NUJ, led by Paul Ella Abechi, of unnecessarily harassing and frustrating the progressive efforts of Journalists within the federal capital territory with monetary demands.

He warned that the activities of Ella Abechi which has resulted in a series of crisis at beat level, if not checked, would lead to an implosion that may result in the eventual fall of the NUJ.

Tabiowo, therefore, called on the leadership at the National level to carry out thorough investigations before reaching a conclusion on any matter as it did concerning the Senate Press Corps Awards.

He added that all recipients of the Senate Press Corps Award were thoroughly subjected to a strict selection process, based on evidence of performance and contribution to matters of legislation.

"It is a thing of disgrace that the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists at the National and council level would give in to pettiness by attempting to take sides with certain political forces.

"The word going round but not confirmed yet, is that they were given a lump sum of money to ensure one of the recipients, Sen. Dino Melaye, was stopped from being awarded Senator of the Year. How true that is, time will tell.

"Let is be stated clearly, that the decision to disclaim the event, which by the way turned out a huge success, would not be the first time the union has tried severally to undermine professionalism.

"Rather than play big brother role, the present leadership has so many times attempted to enforce its will on beat associations through different forms of harassment. Let it be stated clearly, that the time has come when this will be resisted.

"Also, we wish to use this opportunity to advise the leadership at the National level, to look into matters thoroughly before carrying out hasty decisions, as this has weighty consequences on the profession of journalism on the long run. We cannot afford to put our destinies in the hands of charlatans whose only major concern is the size of their pockets and ego."

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