How Odusile lost NUJ presidency to Isiguzo
The main hall of the popular June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, was the turf. And 33 contestants, whose fate were decided by 908 delegates, battled for various positions, overnight, in the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Amid high intrigues and political maneuvering, Waheed Odusile lost reelection as the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to the SouthEast Bureau Chief of Thisday Newspapers, Chris Isiguzo.
For three days, journalists from across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), “relocated” to Abeokuta for the “battle.”
Isiguzo got 346 votes to defeat Odusile who received 329 votes.
The Head, National Head of Information and Public Affairs, Nigeria Labour Congress, Benson Upah announcing the results as the Returning Officer declared Isiguzo winner of the election that had seven contestants.
He said Bamidele Atunbi had 101 votes, Abiodun Olalere, 56 votes, Jacob Edi, 16 votes, Alademka Adelegan, 9 votes and Uzaka Abraham got 30 votes.
The poll was the climax of the 6th Delegates’ Conference with the theme: “Media, Hate Speeches and 2019 General Election in Nigeria: A Democratic Participant or Democratised Press,” which began on Wednesday.
But it was not all campaigning as on Thursday night, Professor Muyiwa Popoola of the Ajayi Crowther University, taking a lead on theme of the conference challenged media practitioners to be guided by its ethics at all times with a view to curbing hate speeches ahead of next election.
Also in a message to the conference, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed represented by the Deputy Director of Information, Mrs Omolara Esan charged Nigerian Journalists to carry-out their professional duties with all fairness and credibility that it requires.
He challenged the NUJ to respect the will of Nigerians in the discharge of their journalistic duty hinting that it was the best way to preserve the county’s democracy at this critical time.
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun represented by his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga said Journalism does not only serve as a watchdog in the society but also as a preserver of democracy and a vehicle of justice.
“Journalism, being the Fourth Estate of the realm has onerous task to perform in the society. Journalists must make sure they thrive always in the society and not the other way round,” the governor said.
In his inaugural address, Isiguzo vowed to pursue vigorously issues of welfare for journalists and tackle head-long the foundational challenges confronting the NUJ.
New President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo administering oath of office on the national and zonal executives of the union
Returning Officer, Benson Upah (Middle) announcing results
Returning Officer, Benson Upah congratulating Isiguzo shortly after he had taken oath of office