The various factions in the lingering conflict over the triennial delegates conference of the Rivers State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), met on Saturday, 14/1/2022, resolved to sink their differences and allow the conference billed to produce elected officers for the union to hold next Tuesday, January 18, 2021.
The peace meeting, which was convened at the instance of the the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, in his office, in Port Harcourt, also resolved to allow peace reign and that the election of officers of the union scheduled for Tuesday next week will hold as planned.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said parties also resolved that all those who took the National President of the NUJ to Court over the State council election must withdraw their cases latest by 12 noon on Monday, January 17, 2022 to enable the peace committee to send a resolution to the National Secretariat about the election.
“This meeting also agreed that the list that will be used for the election next week Tuesday will be the 2018 delegates list that was used in 2018 for election.
“After exhaustive celebration, we have all collectively agreed that NUJ, Rivers State Council is one family. We have also collectively agreed that peace should reign in the Council.
“It was a family meeting and we have agreed there is no victor, no vanquished. All we seek is a State Council that will be an umbrella for journalists to excel in their chosen profession.
“A State Council that will promote the ideals of objectivity and constructive criticism. A State Council that promotes agenda setting. A State Council that will ensure that journalists in Rivers State are not deprived of their rights as practicing journalists.
“So, we believe that by this time next week Monday, we have sent a communication that all of us that are here will sign to the national secretariat for the election to hold,” he said.
Nsirim also conveyed the assurance of the National President of the Union to the effect that if the case is withdrawn from the court, he would allow the election to hold using the 2018 delegates list.
He therefore appealed to all the contending parties to desist from making inflammatory utterances on the NUJ social media platforms in other not to fuel another round of crisis amongst members of the union.
“We are going to sanction members from any camp that will post any information that will stir up acrimony. Anybody that posts any information that will stir up acrimony will be collectively sanctioned.
“So, let all the parties, please, maintain the peace that we have achieved at this meeting.
He urged eligible members to come out and vote for the candidates of their choice. “It is a secret ballot. There should be no violence. Let us play to the rules.
He thanked a veteran and former Commissioner, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, the Vice President, South-South of the union, Mr. Opaka Dokubo for their efforts in brokering peace, hoping that after Tuesday, NUJ, Rivers State Council would come back as one family, “and all of us will begin to enjoy as the family that it use to be in the past.”
Speaking, Hon. Nwuke who is a former member of the House of Representatives described the meeting as a very great day for the union came to understanding to hold a free and fair election after several months of deliberations.
He thanked both sides in the struggle for power in the union for the concessions, noting that their resolve had paved way for a new dawn in the union.
“Let me specifically thank the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim for the support that he has given in other to ensure that we have a breakthrough.
He also admonished all potential voters to prepare to exercise their franchise on Tuesday, remarking that above all there are no losers, rather the victor was the union.
Also speaking, the Vice President, South-South of NUJ, Mr. Opaka Dokubo expressed the readiness of the National President to see the conduct of the election on the scheduled date.
He advised the leadership of the contending camps to ensure their followers conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to achieve a hitch-free election next Tuesday.
The Chairmanship candidates, Mr. Stanley Job Stanley of the Consolidation group and Mr. Paul Bazia of the Restoration group pledged their commitment to the resolution of the meeting.
The meeting which lasted for more than two hours was also attended by the members of the Caretaker committee and that of the Credentials committee for the election.
Special Assistant, media,
Honourable Commissioner for Information and Communications,