From Maurice Okafor (with agency reports)
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Enugu State Council on Saturday rejected the palliative from Enugu State Government over alleged interference in the union activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that problem started when the government representatives led by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh announced that the palliative was for the alleged two factions in the union.
According to him, I heard that there are two factions in the union and the items should be shared between them.
But the Acting Vice President of NUJ, South East, Zone C, Comrade Ken Ofoma expressed dismay over the Commissioner’s statement saying that there were no factions in the union.
“Enugu NUJ remains one family under the leadership of the state chairman, Rex Arum and under the National body led by Chief Christopher Isiguzo.
The vice president disclosed that the other group were those suspended by the National body over anti-union activities adding that any other executive was illegal.
In his remarks, the NUJ chairman, Mr Arum said that the union would not accept the palliative since the government decided to recognize an illegal group as members.
Arum noted that the illegal group comprised only seven persons as against over 200 journalists in the state.
He said that the government should have handed over the items to the state council as it did to the Radio and Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU).
“The other group is illegal because they are not recognized by the national body. How can you share the items between 200 journalists and seven illegal persons.
”You can see that they did the right thing for RATTAWU and they collected their own but the government did not follow the appropriate way for NUJ, that is why the members turned it down,” he said.
”We did not actually reject the palliative but demanded the recognition of the elected NUJ executive in the state,” Arum said.
NAN reports that the commissioner and his group comprising the Leader, Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu and Chairman, Assembly Committee on Information, Mr Jeff Mba however, left with the items as journalists walked away from them.