By Ajibola Abayomi,
September 5, 2018.
“We need to thank you for your efforts in rescuing the union from the mess some of our colleagues in the name of leadership has put us. I can’t imagine journalists signing papers on the housing scheme out of ignorance.
“If they needed help by virtue of their training, they should have asked for it at the appropriate quarters. It was painful that some of us contributed our hard earned money into the National Association of Women Journalists / Nigeria Union of Journalists (NAWOJ/NUJ) scheme and it turned out the way it was. It is a big shame if it were to be people in other professions, we (journalists) would have been writing the other way round.
“With steps you have taken so far, I commend your leadership for rescuing our union that some people have really battered the image. Please don’t hesitate to reach us for help anytime we are needed and we shall give you our support. We are proud of you” those are the words of Mr Gbenga Omotosho, the Editor of the Nation newspaper when Dr Qasim Akinreti, the Chairman of NUJ, Lagos State Council led a delegation of the union on a courtesy call to the organization on Tuesday.
An elated Editor charged the chairman not to relent on his efforts at redefining the focus of the union.
Responding, Dr Akinreti thanked Omotosho saying, “we are committed to ensuring that the PrimeWaters now under a new management, the company that handled the controversial journalists housing scheme did not go away with the sweat of our people.
“I can assure you that we are going to cancel the contract the company had with the union during my predecessor that gave away majority of plots of land of our people at Abaren and addition N70 million to a company that invested nothing in the project.
“Our lawyer has advised us appropriately and we are also waiting for the recommendations of the committee set up by the National Secretariat of NUJ on the matter after which we shall swing into action. But one thing is certain everything that belonged to Lagos journalists as far as the deal is concerned will be retrieved legally.”
Akinreti informed that some members of the union who signified the intention to continue with company were free to exercise their right but stated that NUJ would not be part of such arrangement.
The chairman went on to brief members of the Union at the Nation newspaper and asked for support for the second term aspiration of the NUJ President, Waheed Odusile, the current Managing Editor of the outfit whom he described as pride of journalism.
He said not only that the president was from Lagos Council but he has decided to support him so that Lagos NUJ can remain a reference point in union politics.