By Ajibola Abayomi,
March 18, 2018.
On Thursday March 15, 2018, members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council gathered at the Secretariat of the Union to reflect on the state of the body.
The NUJ was founded on 15, March, 1955 in Lagos State by a group of committed Journalists who created the umbrella body for media practitioners in the country.
The occasion was symbolic as it was the first time any of the state chapter of the Union would mark the historical NUJ Day.
The event was attended by both active and veteran Journalists in the state.
Dr Qasim Akinreti, Chairman, Lagos NUJ in his opening remarks said, time has come for Journalists to reawaken the contributions of the forerunners of the NUJ in the place of history.
According to him, the body had contributed so much to the stability and governance of the nation.
“The trust of our campaign was based on integrity, accountability, professionalism and retraining, those core values we shall remain committed to serve our people throughout our tenure.”
Representative of National President of the NUJ, Mr Waheed Odusile, the B Zone, National Vice President of the NUJ, Cosmos Oni, noted that the occasion would further broaden the spirit of brotherhood within Journalists in Nigeria.
“Occasion like this is very key to unity among Journalists in Nigeria and next year edition will be elaborate especially at the South West arm of the NUJ. Dr Akinreti within the short time he assumed office has warmed himself into the hearts of every state and other national excos of the NUJ.
“Lagos has reignited the history of the NUJ and others state councils will follow suit. We don’t expect less from the Council at the center of excellence. “Many of us are getting to know about the historic day of the NUJ even though there was precedence about the celebration.
“Let me assure you people that the NUJ will all that is necessary to promote the welfare of our members. On the Housing unit crisis at the Lagos council, the National Secretariat after receiving the report will respect the wishes of the congress of your people in Lagos.”
Former National Secretary of the NUJ and chairman of the event, Pa Jola Ogunlusi, praised Dr Akinreti for his visionary leadership, saying there was need to revive the fortune of the Union in line with the vision of its forefathers.
“Let me thank Dr Akinreti for this memorable occasion. However, the NUJ Day while George Uzubo was the President of the NUJ in 1986 used to be celebrated with two key programmes that include the Press Week and a day set aside by the Union to recognize excellence among Journalists in Nigeria, since we left office that had been abandoned.
“If not for this initiative of yours, how many of the contemporary Journalists know when NUJ was founded? One of the ways the present leadership of the Union is derailing is the establishment of International Institute of Journalism in Abuja instead of making it an affiliate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) which the NUJ co-own with others.
“Again the Union has lost several benefits by turning the institute which was a baby of the Institute of African Journalists (IOAJ). The land and structure was acquired for IOAJ but the National Secretariat of the NUJ thought otherwise and that decision till date has made the union to lose several benefits from the United Nations.
Mr Kayode Komolafe, the Deputy Managing Director of Thisday Newspaper, who was a former Secretary of Lagos NUJ enjoined media practitioners to guided by the history of the body saying “a river that forgets its source will run dry.”
He advised journalists to always strive to make the difference despite the economic hardship in the nation.
Former National Chairperson of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Toro Oladapo went down the memory lane on contributions of women towards the advancement of Journalism in Nigeria urged female Journalists to work harder to better their ratings so as to get to the top hierarchy of the print media.
She was of the view that more female Journalists were needed at the management positions of the print media.
During the event, Letter of Commendation was presented to the former General Manager of Lagos Television, Mrs Funke Moore now a Director at a ministry in Lagos State.
She was singled out for her contributions to the advancement of Journalism in the state during her tenure.