Unions Condemn Alleged Misconduct By Bayelsa Radio Boss

Unions, Bayelsa Radio Station, John IdunmageFresh crisis has unfolded at the Bayelsa State-owned radio station, GloryLand FM, following protest by staff against the alleged misconduct of the General Manager, Dr. John Idunmage.

Dr. Idunmage, who was recently appointed following the sack of Mr. Heyford Lawson, was accused of high handedness, unlawful arrest of staff and insulting leadership of the staff union under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU).

The leadership of the affected unions led by Tonye Yemoleigha (Radio Bayelsa Chapel Chairman), Pius Otiti (Chairman, RATTAWU), Amiditor Ikpo (Secretary NUJ) and Preye Yabrifa (Secretary RATTAWU), decried the conduct of the general manager which they said was threatening the smooth working condition in the station.

A statement issued by the leadership of the unions read in parts: “Due to the recent developments in Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation (BSBC), the two sister-unions of NUJ and RATTAWU met and resolved as follows:

“That the unions are deeply unhappy with the arrest of three of their members: Emmanuel Torubeli, the Director of Engineering, Sydney Otufu, the Head of Transport Unit and Felix Amalah, the Head of Plant, by the Police on the insistence of the new BSBC General Manager, for alleged misconduct.

“While sister-unions are not and will not stand against any effort to instill discipline and unravel any act inimical to the corporation, it is however important that internal mechanisms are implored, as provided for in the Public Service Rules, to address such issues.

“Such arrest is capable of diminishing the morale and passion of committed staff to duty, therefore, it is the unions’ position that the matter be withdrawn from the Police and be internally addressed.

“Also that the placement of staff of lower grade level/rank above their seniors is unacceptable to the unions and the recent ‘acting appointments’ of junior officers above and over their superiors should be reversed without delay.

“We are mindful that where a case of incompetence and misconduct or otherwise is established against an officer, disciplinary action should be taken in line with provisions of the Public Service Rules. Nonetheless, the next most senior officer must be given the responsibilities of discharging the functions of that office.

“As unions, we frown at the use of social media by the new General Manager of BSBC, John Idumange, to communicate the problems or challenges of the corporation to the global community rather than taking steps to call on staff or relevant government authority to address such problems and using internal communication channels.

“Finally, that the general manager tender an apology for insulting the unions as it is alleged that while departing the Ekeki Police Station, he was overheard to have said ‘RATTAWU my yansh, NUJ my foot’.

“The unions’ leaderships, while appreciating management for recent efforts to improve the corporation, called on staff to be more committed to duty and contribute meaningfully to the growth of the corporation.”

Yobe Govt. Challenges Journalists On Professional Reportage

Yobe, Journalists, NUJ, ReportageThe Yobe State Government has tasked journalists to sharpen their reportorial skills, as the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) doles out 110 laptops to its members in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Yobe State Governor, Abdullahi Bego, challenged the journalists to take advantage of the new information technologies to improve on their reportorial skills.

He disclosed that the 110 laptops were given free to the council by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) with the aim to widen the prospects of journalism practice in Yobe State and to also meet the challenges of modern day journalism.

The Governor’s spokesman praised journalists who remained in the troubled northeast region to keep the society informed about happenings during the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

With the development in information and communication technology, he said although everybody has an opportunity to be a journalist, being professional would make the difference.

Bego urged the reporters to rise up to the task, saying the development in the ICT world requires more from them in terms of adding more flesh to what makes the headlines.

He also tasked them to be more in-depth and truthful in their reportage and make the best use of social media websites such as the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among others”.

The Zonal Vice President of NUJ in charge of Zone E, Aisha Ibrahim, commended the partnership between the Yobe State Executive Council and NCC and urged members of the union to make the best use of it.

She said the ICT training would go a long way in improving professionalism among the journalists and called on them to leverage on the knowledge acquired in their day to day professional duties.

On his part, the Yobe State Chairman of NUJ, Yusuf Isah, thanked the state government and the NCC for the gesture, saying it would greatly uplift the status of journalism in the state and beyond.

He said that the union would commence an ICT training, in view of the new trends in journalism to educate members on how to face new challenges.

NUJ Asks FG, States To Urgently Fix Federal Roads In Southeast

NUJ-LogoThe Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has decried the deplorable state of federal roads in Nigeria’s southeast region.

The NUJ calls on the Federal Government and governors of the five states in the region to as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on the roads.

The National Vice Chairman of the union, Zone C, Chris Isiguzo, made the call on Friday at a meeting with the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, at the Government House in Owerri, the state’s capital.

Speaking in company of the NUJ executive members of Zone C, Mr Isiguzo described all the federal roads in the southeast as a ‘death trap’.

He identified the Owerri-Okigwe Road, Onitsha- Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Aba-Ikot-Ekpene-Uyo Expressway and Owerri-Port Harcourt Road among others as some of the important roads in the region.

The NUJ executive urged the Federal Government in collaboration with the governors to find a solution to the problem, so as to make life easier for the people of the south-east.

He also asked the governors to tackle the continuous attacks on the people of the region by suspected herdsmen.

In his response, Governor Okorocha blamed the road dilapidation in the region on previous governments, saying there were neglected.

However, he promised to call on his colleagues to see how most of the issues raised would be tackled headlong.

Vandals Steal Traffic Light Accessories In Abuja

Traffic-light-thievesNigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FTC), Abuja, may be losing millions of Naira to increasing activities of vandals.

These vandals target the city’s traffic lights and accessories, which they likely sell for money, a situation that the state needs to address to end huge amount of money spent on the the procurement of accessories to replace the stolen.

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has said it was grappling to run the country on a lean purse and that it has prioritised its projects, with efforts made to reduce spending. But this situation in Abuja will for sure cost the government more money.

Addressing a gathering of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) from the north-central part of Nigeria, an event hosted by NUJ Abuja Chapter, the FCT minister, Mohammed Bello, who was a special guest, poured out his heart over the vandals’ activities.

He lamented that the criminal act was eating deep into the resources of his administration.

Worst hit is the traffic lights and a tour around some parts of Africa’s fastest growing city revealed the extent of vandalism.

Huge number of vehicles come into the city of Abuja daily, but non-functional traffic lights add to the frustration of drivers, a situation that has led to several accidents and those are frequent on Abuja’s well-planned highways.

The Minister of the FCT further urged Abuja residents to be vigilant.

Mr Bello also said that the matter had been reported to security agencies.

The administration will be happy to apprehend the culprits, but for now, they have to spend scarce funds to fix panel boxes and lights to ease free flow of traffic.

FG Condemns Attack On Journalists, Promises Safety

JournalistsThe Federal Government of Nigeria has condemned attacks on journalists in Africa, emphasising the need for their safety in all nations.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, made the statement on Friday in Abuja at the 2016 Federation of African Journalists Conference.

He said that “President Muhammadu Buhari led administration does not pose any form of threat to the media in Nigeria”.

The Minister assured journalists of the government’s commitment towards ensuring their safety in the course of discharging their duties.

He appealed to media establishments to also ensure the physical safety of their personnel across in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, commended the delegates of the Federation of African Journalists for upholding the unity of Africa.

NUJ Advocates Enabling Law To Practice Journalism

NUJThe Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has asked the Senate to enact a law regulating the practice of journalism in Nigeria.

The NUJ President, Mr Waheed Odishile, made the request on Monday while meeting with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Mr Odishile condemned the commonplace practice where media practitioners were owed salaries spanning months.

He sought the assistance of the National Assembly in order to end this common practice.

In his remark, the Senate President agreed with the NUJ President, saying there must be a law in place to guarantee an enabling environment for media professionals to practice.

‘Work With Me To Rebuild Nigeria,’ Buhari Urges Journalists

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Nigeria-JournalistsNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged journalists to work with his administration to end the scourge of the Boko Haram terrorists, improve national security, rebuild and expand national infrastructure, accelerate the pace of economic development and create more employment opportunities for Nigerian youth.

President Buhari made the demand on Sunday in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The President congratulated Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile of the Nation Newspapers on his election as the new President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

President Buhari expressed the belief that with Mr Odusile’s worthy credentials, long experience and antecedents as a highly respected and reputable professional, he could be expected to discharge his new responsibility of leading the NUJ to greater heights of accomplishment with distinction.

The President assured the new NUJ President and the newly elected executive officers of the union of the fullest support and cooperation of the Federal Government, as they move to reposition and revitalise the journalism profession in Nigeria for present and future challenges, including the revolutionary impact of new technologies on communications and information dissemination.

President Buhari further assured the new NUJ President and all journalists in Nigeria that his Administration would consistently uphold their right to perform their constitutionally assigned role in the society without hindrance.

He further wished Mr Odusile and other newly-elected executive officers of the NUJ a very successful tenure in the service of their profession and country.

2015: Yero Promises To Embark On Radical Reforms

YeroGovernor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State and flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2015 elections, has promised to embark on radical reforms and policies that will benefit the people of the state

Yero, who was deputy governor, became governor following the death of former governor, late Patrick Yakowa on December 15, 2012.

Speaking at a forum organized by the Kaduna state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists on Tuesday, the governor explained that his reluctance to embark on some radical people oriented reforms, was in order not be misunderstood as being against the people, especially as the 2015 elections draw closer.

Explaining the rationale behind the ban on commercial motorcyclists in the state capital and some other parts of the state early this year, the governor said the action, though painful, was taken in order to secure the state from the hands of criminals.

Yero also urged media practitioners to be objective in their reportage and dwell less on issues that are capable of dividing the country or heat up the polity.

Delivering his keynote lecture at the event, human rights activist and President of Transition Monitoring Group, Mr Festus Okoye, identified some of the challenges that will mitigate against the smooth conduct of the election including insecurity, poor distribution of permanent voters cards, eligibility problem and the desperation of politicians to win at all costs.

He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address PVC issues and ensure that no eligible voter is disenfranchised during the forthcoming election.

According to Okoye, the 2015 election is not about Nigeria alone but the international community, who are interested in its outcome, adding that the election presents Nigerians with the opportunity of electing genuine leaders whose mandate will be able to give hope to the people.

NBTE Shuts Down 50 Illegal Polytechnics, Monotechnics

PolytechnicsThe National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has closed not less than 50 illegal polytechnics and monotechnics operating without government’s approval across the country.

Executive Secretary of the board, Dr Mas’udu Kazaure, disclosed this in Kaduna on Monday at a meeting between the Board and the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The NUJ had visited to seek for approval for the commencement of National Diploma and Higher National Diploma at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) being an in-house programme run by the NUJ for training and re-training of its members.

The NBTE Executive Secretary revealed that most of the illegal institutions were operating in contravention of the Basic Minimum Academic Standards as prescribed by law and have been running OND and HND programmes in several satellite campuses across the country.

Dr. Kazaure also disclosed that NBTE was in the process of developing a National Vocational Qualifications Framework that would provide a clear, coherent and comprehensive system of education and training which would be relevant to the needs of public and private organisations and individuals.

He further stated that the programme would also close the gap between institutional training and industry needs, adding that it would revolutionise the provision of skills in the country.

While commending the NUJ for complying with the laid down guidelines and regulations of seeking accreditation for its programmes, the NBTE boss assured the union that the board would soon give approval for the commencement of National Diploma programme in journalism and other related courses at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism being operated by the NUJ .

The NUJ President, Mohammed Garba, thanked the board for its decision to approve NIJ diploma programme, describing its as good news for the union and the journalism profession. He assured the board that the institute shall live up to its expectation.

The National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, was established in 1977 to take care of vocational and technical education outside the university system.

Presently, there are 95 public and private polytechnics and over 100 monotechnics across the country.

NUJ Warns of Boko Haram Spread Truncating 2015 Polls

Mohammed_GarbaAhead of the 2015 general elections, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohammed Garba, has expressed fears that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east is capable of spreading to other parts of the country and thereby truncating the polls if the the Federal and State Governments do not take an urgent steps to end the it.

The NUJ President, who stated this at a news conference in Kaduna on the state of the nation, said that there was an urgent need to end the spate of bombings and killings going on daily in the North East and other northern states.

He noted that a lot still needed to be done by the Federal Government towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency that had crippled economic and social activities, especially now that the nation is preparing for another election next year.

Garba also called on security forces to review their tactics in the fight against terror, with a view to identifying areas to make amends, as well as adopting new and best techniques to tackle the problem.

He also reiterated the willingness of the Nigerian media to collaborate with all agencies of the government towards finding a lasting solution to Nigeria’s security challenges.

Members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, have carried out series of attacks on villages, churches, schools, public places and mosques and had declared a town in Borno State, Gwoza, an Islamic State, a claim that the Nigerian government said was untrue.


Nigerian Media Asked To Sensitise Citizens On Ills Of Terrorism


The Minister of Information tells both foreigners and Nigerians in Abuja that there's no cause for alarm over the Boko Haram attack warning issued by the US embassy in Nigeria.
Labaran Maku believes the media can help end terrorism in Nigeria

The Minister of Information in Nigeria, Mr Labaran Maku has advised media professionals to stand up against terrorism by sensitising citizens on the ills and negative effects of terrorism.

The Minister gave the advice on Friday at the 8th Ordinary Congress of the West Africa Journalists Association (WAJA) holding in Abuja.

At the opening session of the congress Mr Maku urged media professionals to support their government in the fight against terrorism by shunning acts capable of promoting hate and divisive tendencies.

The President of the WAJA, Mr Mohammed Garba, told the gathering that the association had been able to overcome some of the challenges facing media professionals in West Africa.

Mr Garba, who is also the leader of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, said the association was concerned about insecurity and other issues affecting journalism practice in the sub-region.

“We are concerned about the growing cases of insecurity and also those challenges that are hampering the smooth journalism practice in West Africa.

“The issue of media freedom in the sub-region will also feature prominently in our discussions at the congress,” he said.

The congress will dwell extensively on the welfare of journalists and security, which the president of the association said were essential to effective reportage.

Over 30 delegates and resource persons are attending the congress, with the theme, `Strengthening media for peace, security and democratic governance in West Africa’, holding between April 25 and 26.

Representatives of UNICEF, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), ECOWAS and African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) amongst others will be addressing the congress.

Journalists Filming Burning PDP Building Attacked

PDP22Some journalists from the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State have been beaten with their cameras destroyed by hoodlums suspected to be PDP thugs while trying to cover a fire outbreak at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Ekiti State. 

The party secretariat was set on fire on Tuesday morning by unknown persons.

After the incident, the National Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Mr Garba Mohammed, directed all journalists in the state to “stay away from all activities of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State until a letter of apology is tendered”.

The directive was issued through the chairman of the union in the state, Mr Laolu Omosilade.

The incident is a violation of the journalists’ right to information as enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act.