December 02, (THEWILL) – Let me preface this prose with a hearty congratulations to Comrade Ifeanyi Nwanguma, on his emergence as the newly- elected chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Imo State Council. It is now expedient to charge him on assiduousness; as well as to live up to expectations as the number one media practitioner in the State. To whom much is given, much is required of him.
The new Chairman of Imo NUJ is the Editor-in-Chief of the Starpost Newspapers. I was not amazed upon hearing of his victory in the NUJ election that was conducted by the national and zonal representatives of the union.
Nwanguma emerged after his predecessor, Chief Christopher Akaronye, stepped down from the contest, thereby allowing his beloved son, Nwanguma, to mount the mantle of leadership in order to change the narrative of the sit-tight syndrome and as well, put an end to the do-or-die politics.
The Chairman, said, “I thank the National President and Secretary for their efforts to ensure that we have a peaceful and transparent election. I equally thank the zonal Vice President and Secretary for their efforts in ensuring that we have a fair election in Imo Council.”
He continued, “I want to assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I will continue from where the immediate past Chairman stopped. And we are going to put efforts to ensure that we have one united NUJ in Imo state. I call on everybody to keep aside every personal difference, come back and join hands with us to have one NUJ”
Ifeanyi Nwanguma is one of the Imo Journalists I know that has carved a niche for himself in the media profession. Even now, he has assumed this position, I have a stronger conviction that the new Chairman of the Council shall perform excellently well in office. He should eschew division and see himself as a father to all Imo Journalists.
It is clear the union was rocked by the blatant refusal of Elder Lambert Ojukwu and Comrade Precious Nwadike-led faction despite frantic efforts made so far to reunite with the immediate past Chairman of the union, Chief Christopher Akaronye. In fact, he deserves my commendation, for he came, saw and conquered.
Chief Akaronye exhibited a greater sense of maturity even in the face of provocative actions unleashed by the dissident group. He followed them with peace, guarded his utterances and managed the situation diplomatically. Let me point out here that the containment of his temperament is still being hailed to date. I doff my cap for him!
Therefore, his successor is expected to toe the same line of peaceful coexistence and all-encompassing leadership that shall foster unity among members of the union in Imo Council. Regrettably, few members of the union appear to be kicking against the victory of the new executive. Their grievances were that the conductors of the election took Imo journalists unaware of the polls saying, “they no go gree”.
They have no option but to forget the past and throw weight behind the newly elected officers. Is it not enshrined in the constitution of the Nigeria Union of Journalists that its National President has the prerogative to approve the conduct of an election? These agitations have drawn Imo NUJ back that some dividends had eluded us. During that time, I discovered that political party candidates and captains of industries stopped associating with the Imo NUJ over the crisis that can be said to have been resolved now.
It would be recalled that the leadership crisis that ravaged our immediate professional constituency; at a time, became so shameful, which I least expected of a noble Fourth Estate of The Realm that is saddled with the responsibilities of mirroring, watchdogging and correcting the offensive ills in our society.
Let me also point out here that the dispute started in the year 2018 before the national congress was held at Abeokuta, Ogun State. Today, few Journalists are still flexing muscles over leadership positions that we should have dismissed with a wave of family affairs into the abyss of history and bounced back stronger to foster a robust rapport among one another.
Comrade Ifeanyi Nwanguma should now extend open arms to our colleagues, who feel aggrieved for not being carried along in the scheme of things. The doors have to be opened for those that want to join forces in lifting the state council to greater heights.
The new chairman should bear in mind that this crisis had lingered for soo long, and having been keenly watching it, I observed that it is being characterized by legal actions and counter activities. Lawyers and presiding Judge in the Owerri Divisional Industrial Court of Nigeria had fed fat on the feuding issues to the detriment of the union.
I want to use this medium to passionately appeal to Elder Lambert Ojukwu, Comrade Precious Nwadike and other colleagues to package their grievances and come back for the fact that the former Chairman, Chief Chris Akaronye, has given chance for peace to reign supreme in the Imo NUJ.
I have always asked myself this question: What is there in the NUJ chairmanship position that we can not sheath our swords instead of making the contest a do-or-die affair? I wish to plead with us, no matter whose ox is gored, let us come together as one. No matter the platform under which one operates as a media practitioner in the state, NUJ remains our umbrella and no reason should it be destroyed no matter the level of provocation. Ka Udo chiaaa… Iseeee…!