NUJ Sobi FM Chapel seeks protection for media workers
By Kehinde Emmanuel, Ilorin
Sobi FM Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kwara State Council, has called for the protection of journalists by the union to enable them perform their constitutional duties without fear or favour.
This was contained in a position paper signed by Adebayo Abubakar and Maryam Afolabi chairman and secretary communique drafting committee, submitted as the December Chapel report during the monthly congress of the union held at the press centre Ilorin the Kwara state capital.
The statement maintained it is rasing the issue by calling the attention of the state council to always rise up in defence of its members, by taking a stand whenever a journalist is being persecuted in the state in an impartial, independent, effective, transparent, and timely manner to show commitment to ending impunity against journalists in Kwara state.
The statement reads in part, “Sobi FM was dismayed during the ordeal of the Chapel Chairman, Dare Akogun, between October 13, 2022 and October 19, 2022 , where he was detained at the state headquarters, arraigned and remanded at Mandala Correctional Services Centre.
“Sobi FM Chapel was dismayed, at how deafening, the silence of the Council was, while the issue lasted, despite the fact that when Dare Akogun, who is not only a member of the union, but also, a member of the expanded the State Executive Council (SEC) honoured the police invitation.
“He informed the Council’s Chairman, Ahmed Lateef, and the Secretary, Tayo Ayanda who actually accompanied him to the State’s police headquarters alongside some other members of the Union, and lawyers.
“It is worthy of note that throughout the engagement with the Commissioner of Police Paul Odama , the NUJ Chairman, Kwara Council did not issue a statement to condemn the use of state power to intimidate and harass a bonafide journalist, even when the CP ordered that, they be locked up, in violation of their fundamental human rights,” it stated.
The statement added that Sobi FM is raising the issue on the need for the union to always rise up in defence of its members in fulfilling the constitutional requirements of protection of its members.
“Sobi FM Chapel is not raising this issue for the union to wade into the matter because it’s late, and it is already settled, rather we are raising this issue in case of a reoccurrence in the future, and the need for the Leadership of the union to always rise up in defence of one of its own.
“Regardless of who the other party is, by following the dictates of the constitution, in spirit and letter, which they swore to protect by safeguarding the rights of members, and also standing with them during moments of tribulation and persecution.
“The leadership of NUJ Kwara Chapel could have done better than it did, and serenaded itself with glory, on account of having stood by one of its own who was obviously being persecuted. But the rest, like they say, is history.
“The Chapel must, however not fail to express its unquantifiable appreciation to those members who stood up to be counted (as comrades in the struggle for free press), through, their contribution in one way or the other,” it added.