‘You Cannot Impose Illegal Caretaker Committee on Us’ – Rivers NUJ Warns Isiguzo
Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Rivers State Council, has resisted attempt by the NUJ President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, to impose a caretaker committee on the council.
Isiguzo had allegedly mobilised suspected thugs and a handful of NUJ members believed to be loyal to him to install a caretaker committee on the council.
Isiguzo’s cronies, however, met a stiff resistance from hundreds of NUJ members, including chairmen and secretaries of various chapels, who trooped to the NUJ Press Centre at Moscow Road to stop the charade.
A statement jointly signed by the state council chairman and secretary, Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, and endorsed by 14 out of 21 chapel chairmen and secretaries, stated that any caretaker committee constituted by the NUJ President and his allies would never be recognised.
According to the statement, Isiguzo’s loyalists led by the chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Amaechi Okonkwo, who is being tipped for chairmanship of the caretaker committee relocated to an unknown destination where an illegal caretaker committee was allegedly constituted.
The statement notes that the only authority recognised by Article 5.C (9C) of the NUJ Constitution to constitute a caretaker committee in any state council are the chairmen and secretaries of various chapels in the state who constitute the SEC.
The statement quotes the chairmen of the State Information Chapel, Mr Owupele Benebo and his Independent Monitor Chapel counterpart, Mr Olalekan Ige, as saying that any committee constituted outside the NUJ Press Centre without the knowledge and inputs of all chapel leaders would be null and void and of no effect on the state council.
The statement condemns Isiguzo’s desperation to instigate crisis of unimaginable proportion in the Rivers State Council, and also chided the chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Amaechi Okonkwo and his Tide Chapel counterpart, Amadi Akujobi, for allowing themselves to be used as willing tools in the hands of the NUJ President to destabilize the state council.
The statement also warns the public against recognising the illegal caretaker committee or doing any business with it in their own interest.