Journalists Finger External Forces in Oyo NAWOJ Election Crisis - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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Aspirants contesting ahead of November 25 election into the offices of the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) on Thursday fingered external forces in their purported disqualification by a three-member Credentials committee headed by a certain Morenike Tony-Esan.

The petitioners; Omolola Alamu, Shade Oduola, Ramat Alade, Kehinde Igbari, Temilola Akarah and Temitope Oyewole had alleged that their group, contesting against the incumbent, Jadesola Ajibola and her team, were all disqualified to pave way for a premeditated action at perpetuating the embattled Ajibola in office for second term.

They therefore wrote the NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, NAWOJ president, Ladi Bala, Oyo NUJ Chairman, Ademola Babalola among other leaders to wade into the matter and save the Association from impending crisis.

In the two-page petition, the six aspirants stated that Ajibola, Seyi Bamidele and Peju Oyelakin who were cleared were not NUJ dues paying members, while Oyebanji and the aforementioned trio never served at chapel levels and also breached NUJ constitution on membership.

They wrote as follows: “We want to bring to your notice that Mrs Jadesola Ajibola and Mrs Stella Oyebanji the incumbent chairperson and Secretary respectively including all the contestantants in their camp (Seyi Bamidele and Peju Oyelakin) who are contesting for offices never served in any chapel in contravention of Article 6 (7) (b) of the constitution of the NUJ.

“It is on record that the above named persons must have erroneously and illegally too served at the NAWOJ level, this cannot validate their participation in the ongoing process. For instance the arrow head of the camp Jadesola Ajibola became *NAWOJ State Assistant Secretary in 2009* (12 years ago) barely a year after she started working as a journalist (Inspiration FM correspondent, Oyo State). This candidate finished from Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2009 and also became a State Officer of NAWOJ same year. She joined Inspiration FM during her University internship. Your guess is as good as mine.

‘Article 6 subsection 7B says that for the State Council offices, such candidates must have been in active service for seven years and be in good financial standing, and must have been officers in the Chapel…

“Except for Stella Oyebanji, all other contestants in their camp including Jadesola Ajibola are not financial members of NUJ in contravention of the combined provisions of Article 6 (7) (b) and (7) (e). We State this for the following reasons:

“a. The affected persons above are not check-off due paying members.

“b. They have never paid their dues either from the source or directly to NUJ as required by law.

“Article 6 subsection 7 (b) says for State Council, only those who have been actively involved in the practice of journalism for a period of seven years and are in good financial standing and must have been officers in a Chapel.

“Article 6 subsection 7(E) defines financial standing to mean only members who have paid fully their check-off dues and professional fees and have been so certified would be considered to be in good financial standing.

“3. Peju Oyelakin was and still never a staff of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and any other recognised media establishment as impersonated in her form.

“4. The attendance at congress register is yet to be released and published till date, this is to make way for the likes of Seyi Bamidele and Peju Oyelakin who did not meet up with the 50% attendance at congresses prescribed in Article 6 (7) (f)      of the NUJ Constitution. We State that for the avoidance of doubt that the NAWOJ is not a secret cult.

“We (Omolola Alamu, Shade Oduola, Ramat Alade, Temilola Akarah, Kehinde Igbari and Temitope Oyewole were purportedly disqualified based on the provisions of the NUJ Constitution which the purportedly cleared candidates also violently flouted.

“We State that the NAWOJ activities hitherto had been a family affairs before the interference of external factors/forces.

“From the foregoing, the three-man Credentials Committee which purportedly cleared some candidates despite these serious infractions should be honourably dissolved without further delay.

“We therefore State that we do not want NAWOJ to be characterised by needless animosity and vendetta, political witch-hunt and court cases that have characterised the larger NUJ.

“The above will not only bring shame to the Union, but also a serious indictment on our collective personality as a Union.

“The rhetorical question is: are we upholding the Constitution as sworn to in Article 3 (d) of the NUJ? The answer blows in the wind. A stitch in time saves nine,” they stated.

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