By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Journalists in Osun state have described as unthinkable, unrealistic and ridiculous, the decision of the National secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to annul the state council election.
The journalists under the umbrella of the Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, Osun State Council at its Special Congress held on Friday, March 4, 2016 rejected the decision of the union’s national leaders to conduct another election for the state.
In a communique issued and signed by the chapel’s chairman, Prince Hameed Oyegbade, the election of the Osun NUJ State Council held on 10th February, 2016 was peaceful, free and fair wondering why the national secretariat would nullify it.
According to the communique, any attempt to conduct another election in Osun NUJ
Would not promote love among journalists in the state but create hatred, enmity, division and polarise the council.
The communique reads in part: “Our Chapel maintains that it was wrong for the National Secretariat to have annulled the election despite the fact that the result of the election was generally acceptable to all members of our union in Osun State including the losers who embraced and congratulated the winners after the election.
“We reject, in its entirety, the purported nullification of the election that was peaceful, free, fair and credible and our chapel feels that if there was any petition concerning the election, the decision on the annulment could only have been taken by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NUJ.
“The Chapel fells that the annulment of the election indicates that some elements at the National Secretariat have their preferred candidates whom they want to impose on NUJ members in Osun.
“We also hold that the election was properly conducted and supervised by three (3) National officers of NUJ including the Deputy National Secretary, Mr Gbenga Bamidele; the Vice President B Zone; Mr Cosmas Oni and a National Trustee member, Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte who represented the NEC while the Chairmen of Ogun and Ondo State Councils, Wole Sokunbi and James Showole were also among observers that monitored the election and all these top NUJ officers pronounced the election as free, fair and credible, after which the elected officers were sworn and we wonder why this sudden annulment.”
The correspondents also saw the annulment as a stain on pen pushing profession saying it was unprecedented and unconstitutional in the annals of the union.
While appealing to the National Secretariat of the union, to, in the interest of integrity, justice, fairness and posterity, uphold the result of the election, the communique berated the Vice President B-Zone, Mr Cosmos Oni for the roles he allegedly played before and during the electioneering exercise.
In thesame vain, the state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) of NUJ in a communique also expressed disappointment at the annulment of the state council’s election by the national secretariat.
Comrade Abiodun Olalere of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation had been elected chairman while Boladale Bamigbola of the National Mirror Newspaper won as the Secretary of the council among other executives.