Four members of the Borno State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists have tendered their letters of resignation even as they dissociated themselves from the illegal sales of the Union’s land for N12 million.
In their letter of resignation dated 24th January, 2022, jointly signed: Babagana Bukar (Vice Chairman), Hauwa Bata (Treasurer), Chiroma Ibrahim (Assistant Secretary) and Dauda Iliya (Financial Secretary), said: “We will like to bring into the kind notice of members of Nigeria Union of Journalists Borno state Council about a scandalous act in which the Chairman connives with the Secretary as well as the Auditor and sold four plots of NUJ land near Bakasi Housing Estate, Maiduguri, Borno state.
“The trio without consulting the remaining state council officials, without convening a State Executive Council, SEC, meeting or Congress meeting wrote a letter dated 15th October, 2021 to NUJ National Secretariat seeking approval to sell two plots of the land for the purpose of fencing the entire NUJ land alleging that Borno state government is planning to revoke the property if not developed and was granted approval on the 20th October.
“Four months after the approval, the Chairman, Secretary and Auditor shrouded the disgraceful act in secrecy until on 22nd January, 2022 when the State Working Committee, SWC has its meeting.
“Surprisingly, the matter was not an agenda of the meetings during when we inquire to know the position of the land, the Chairman vehemently denied knowledge that some portion of the land was dispose of.
“After long interrogation, the Secretary confessed that they sold four instead of the two plots earlier approved by the National Secretariat at the cost of 12 million Naira shamelessly shared the money among themselves, that is the Chairman, Secretary and Auditor.
“Sadly, up to this moment, there is no single block places for fencing of the land, hence disassociating ourselves with this disgraceful act.
“It is in the light of the above, that we thereby tender our resignation letter in accordance with Article 5 (e)(5) of the NUJ constitution and after due consultation with our respective chapels to protect our integrity and that of the union.
“We will like to appreciate the support and cooperation given to us by the entire members of NUJ Borno Council throughout our stay as officials.”
The letter immediately elicited the convocation of an emergency SEC meeting of the Borno NUJ on Tuesday where the following resolutions were made:
“Accepted the apology tendered after remorse shown by Council Chairman, Secretary and Auditor for not following due process before complying with approval of National Secretariat to sell portion of land for fencing purposes for the remaining NUJ land at Damboa-Biu Road Maiduguri.
“A seven man Committee for Fencing of the Land, one member from each Chapel (as forwarded) should be constituted and move to do the needful.
“Proceeds from sale of the land should be remitted to the NUJ Borno Council account in UBA and transaction alert should be received by Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer against Chairman only.
“SEC also recommended that a Three man RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE comprising of Elderly Members should be formed to harmonise differences between the Union Executive members and other similar issues for stability to prevail.
“SEC appealed to four officers Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Assistant Secretary who tenderd resignation letter the previous day not to abandon the Union and continue in office.
“SEC appealed to the National Secretariat to stay action on setting up of panel of enquiry as the matter has been settled amicably and the house is now in order.”
Meanwhile, some journalists are spurring for war, insisting that the matter should be tabled before the entire Congress and not just a group of members considering that it impugned on the image of all journalists in the state.