The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned attacks on journalists covering elections in Ekiti State, saying it will no longer condone any act of impunity against journalists in the country. The Union called on security agencies to stop harassing journalists or obstructing their constitutional duties. The Union further calls on security agencies to stop harassing Journalists or preventing them from carrying out their constitutional duties ahead of the upcoming election in the state on July 14, 2018.
The NUJ said this at its NEC meeting in Sokoto State on Saturday June 30, 2018. The meeting brought together National Officers and State Council Officers of the Union to discuss and deliberate on various issues affecting the Union.
The union noted with concern the prevalence of lack of decorum by some opinion leaders, traditional rulers and religious leaders in the country urging that this attitude, which is worrisome, should be curtailed immediately. It said rather than preach peace and peaceful co-existence, some religious leaders preach intolerance, which will not augur well for the cohesion of the country. The NUJ NEC therefore, advised these leaders to be cautious of their utterances at all times.
The Union NEC said it sympathized with the Government and people of Plateau State over the recent mass killings of innocent and defenseless citizens in Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Jos South Local Government areas of the state. It also expressed its worry over the dangerous dimension the wanton killings and destruction of property are taking and urged the Federal Government to immediately review and overhaul the security architecture of the country.
The body pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Service Chiefs immediately and replace them with persons that are more competent as, according to the body, they have continued to display lack of capacity and willingness to perform their assigned responsibility in view of the continuous bloodletting in the country.
Recognizing the fact that Jones Abiri who was picked up in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State by the Department of State Security is still detained for nearly two years now, it asked the Federal Government to immediately charge him to court to enable him defend himself of whatever crime he is alleged to have committed or to release him unconditionally.
NEC direct that a committee should be set up to advice it on the proper line of action to take after deliberating on the report of the Lagos Council Abaren Land. In addition, the union constituted a nine member Electoral Committee to organize and conduct election into the various national offices of the Union within 90 days. NEC also approves Abeokuta, Ogun State as venue for the 6th Triennial Delegates Conference 2018.
The NEC cautioned mainstream media professionals to be more thorough and circumspect in their work to avoid being used to promote hate speech and other divisive tendencies. It frowned at purveyor of fake news on various social media platform. It approved the lifting of the six months suspension on the former Benue Council Chairman, Kris Atsaka.
The body commended media stakeholders for successfully hosting the 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute in Abuja in June 2018, with the theme: “Why Good Journalism Matters. It appealed to media stakeholders to convene a meeting immediately to recommend an enhanced media salary structure for professionals in the sector to promote quality Journalism.
At the end of the meeting, the NEC expressed its appreciation to Sokoto Council of the Union for hosting the NEC meeting and commended the Sokoto State Government for its financial assistance towards the success of the meeting.