COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE QUARTERLY MEETING OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ), ZONE F, IN PORT-HARCOURT ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
The meeting was presided over by the Vice President of the Zone, Comrade Edward Ogude.
The meeting deliberated on sundry issues affecting the zone, union and nation at large, and resolved on the following:
1. The meeting bemoaned the falling value in journalism practice in the zone and country at large due to the low entry qualification and prevalence of quacks, and called on the national leadership of the union to intensify the review process of the NUJ Constitution to increase the entry point.
It also called for the reactivation of the process for a bill before the national assembly to establish a council to license and regulate the practice of journalism in the country to make it truly professional.
2. The meeting reviewed the state of federal roads in the zone, namely Calabar-Itu Road, Warri-Benin Road, Uromi-Agbor-Amukpe Road, Benin-Auchi Road, East-West Road and the Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road, among others, describing them as deplorable and death traps.
The meeting described as unacceptable the fact that the East-West has remained uncompleted in Akwa Ibom axis.
It called on the Federal Government to be alive in the maintenance of its roads. The meeting, however, commended state governors, such as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for intervening in fixing federal roads even as it observed the need for such intervention to follow due process and the job executed according to acceptable standard in road construction.
3) The meeting called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to reimburse state governments that have used their funds to fix federal roads and described the recent approval of billions of Naira for the rehabilitation of some federal roads in the country by the federal government with only one road in the zone as discriminatory and unacceptable.
4) On insecurity, kidnapping and armed robbery, the meeting noted that the zone is still under siege and called on security agencies and governments at all levels to bring the state of insecurity under checks.
5). On efforts made at wiping out serial killings and other acts of criminality in hotels, the zone praised the resourcefulness of the Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Police in nabbing the serial killer, David West but called for more prodding to unravel his co-perpetrators and sponsors.
It equally commended the initiative of the command’s directive to hotel operators to register all guests with valid ID cards and urged other state commands to apply same strategy to check crimes in hotel premises.
6) The meeting viewed with serious concern the rising rate of youth unemployment in the zone and the attendant link with vices and criminality.
It nevertheless, urged youths in the zone to develop the mentality of self-worth and reliance by engaging in gainful and lawful endeavours rather than looking up to government for employment.
7) The zone appreciated and thanked the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, for his uncommon support to that state council of the NUJ and the welfare of journalists, particularly the health insurance scheme for 250 journalists, urging him to continue to remain supportive of the union.
8) The zone equally appreciated and thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for resolving the dispute over the land housing the Delta Council of NUJ secretariat and pleaded with him to continue with the assistance to complete the press centre project of the council.
9. The zone, in reasoning with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, called for change in the narrative to see the South- South States as an investors’ haven rather than home for restiveness and criminality.
10. The meeting expressed worry at events leading to the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State and sued for a peaceful, transparent, free and fair process that will not only make for credible election but devoid of killings and destruction of property.
Comrade Edward Ogude, Vice President, Zone F
Dr Bassey Eyoh, Secretary, Zone F
Communique Drafting Committee:
1. Comrade Churchill Oyowe, Chairman
2. Comrade Ike Wigodo, Member
3. Comrade Ogio Ipigansi, Member
4. Comrade Dominic Akpan, Member and
5. Comrade Titus Akhigbe, Secretary