Former Chairman of Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Otunba Mike Aladenika has contested the presidency of the Union severally. In this interview with Ajibola Abayomi, he unveiled programmes he has lined up to better the lots of the union and journalists across the country as he offers himself for election again. Excerpts.
This is the fourth time you are contesting the NUJ presidency, are you not afraid of another defeat?
Not my fourth time rather it is the third time. The two previous ones were meant to navigate the waters and get matured in the process. I make bold to tell you that I have garnered sufficient experience over time to remodel our dear Union. It is a fact that the old ways of doing things must give way to a better ideas that I stand for.
What are you offering the union that is different from others?
I am advocating for a more realistic and practicable ideas that will bring results. For example, I will evolve an empowerment business alternative which will allow members to earn more pay without losing focus of their primary assignment. This business alternative will bring, at least, three journalists out from each council to be involved in an agricultural scheme. I will also establish an Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant media platform which will employ, at least three Journalists per state. The platform will be the most authentic news source in Nigeria. Revenue will be generated from here. NUJ will now, in my time, be involved in the business and politics of the Media in the interest of our members.
What do you consider as missing links in the union that is propelling your aspiration?
The way the union is been administered is stereotype. It has been like this for so many years to the extent that results gotten are nothing to write home about. Except we change our style, I swear, no head way. This has been my motivating spirit.
So what are the core interventions you are bringing to the NUJ now?
In my time as NUJ president, the union will be self sustaining as we will be in the media business. I will provide employment for journalists on our NUJ ICT platform. I will provide alternative business platform. I will also establish and regulate “beats” with a view to liberating your collective welfare, among other things.
Journalists welfare is a major challenge for the union, how do you intend to address that?
Many of our leaders have always hidden under the toga of welfarism without doing anything serious about it. My business alternative scheme is designed to address this permanently. And other ideas that will be brought on board will address whatever the business alternative could not capture.
Should you lose again, are you likely to recontest?
Losing the election implies that my colleagues may not have seen the vision I have for the union. I will do my vision into a book and submit to the national Secretariat for study and possible implementation by anyone who may have show genuine intention in the growth of our union. The implication of my loosing this election, God forbid, is that God has better assignment for me elsewhere.