Wednesday, 14 January 2015

2015- Thrusting into a refreshing cycle for journalists BY PATRICK ALBERT

2015- Thrusting into a refreshing cycle for journalists BY PATRICK ALBERT

Today, Tuesday,  January 13, 2015, we begin our first Congress in the New Year. I make haste therefore to say that it is the beginning of a new and refreshing cycle in our collective quest to build a formidable and prosperous Union.   

Let me therefore, with a heart filled with joy and love, on behalf of the State Working Committee (SWC) and State Executive Committee (SEC) of our great Union, welcome you all to this New Year. We remain grateful to the Almighty God for His love, Guidance and generous provisions for the year ended.  And to all our members, we say a big thank you for the loyalty, support and total cooperation. 

Reflecting on the year ended, 2014, we believe that the landmarks recorded synchronised with the Rebirth Team philosophy to offer a new lease of life to the Union as it vigorously campaigned for my election on August 1, 2013. As I had re-echoed in my State of the Union Address at the One Year Anniversary Congress of Thursday, August 14, 2014, the drive of my leadership is to galvanise all the dreams of our past leaders and to make NUJ more responsive to the needs of the members as well as actualise its relevance in line with constitutional responsibilities to the society.

Within last year, as evidences abound, we carried out Perimeter Fencing/Gate House, Mini Club House, Viewing Centre, Upgrade of facilities at the existing one-storey building, provision of offices for State Secretary, Treasurer and other Officers, equipping of Mini Conference Hall, ICT Centre, Acquisition and distribution of five (5) new Toyota Hiace Buses, 175 Laptops to Members, Acquisition of two (2) Giant Generators – a 60 KVA and a 150 KVA respectively, and other numerous welfare programmes and packages.

 We are happy that today, our Union is gaining greater respect and relevance in the society. We commend all our members for this feat. To stay atop requires valour and wisdom. We cannot pride ourselves as professional journalists if our output, in this case reportage, fails the basic test of our Code of Ethics which entails objectivity, fairness and balance.  

As a responsible professional body, we will continue to urge our members to remain on the ethical path so as to earn respect and win public applause. Unfounded and concocted reportage inflicts on the victims injuries which are near impossible to erase and heal than most severe orthopaedic cases. On the other hand, we will remain proactive in the defence and protection of our members in the exercise of their legitimate duties. 

As we begin another year, we wish to reassure you of our zeal and commitment to serve you better. Most importantly, my administration is led by God. My ascension was a divine commission - a mission clearly defined by God to be His instrument to do the unbelievable for journalists, nay the Media Community in the State. That it is God who leads, accounts for the successes we garnered last year.  

We are happy to announce to our members that God has already proclaimed that 2015 will be a year “From Glory To Glory” for NUJ and her members.  Let’s therefore remain steadfast and committed to the Union and her programmes. 
As we did indicate, a Work Plan will be rolled out soon. We will move at a fast pace to implement programmes and projects earmarked for the Union. Our policy of providing Laptops for every journalist in the Council shall be vigorously pursued and implemented. So far, 175 journalists have benefited as indicated above. The Work Plan being put together has equally encapsulated training and re-training programmes. We will partner with the Government and all relevant bodies in this regards.  

Gentlemen, you are aware of our agitation for the implementation of the 22.5 percent Weigh-in (Hazard) allowance for Media Workers. We believe that His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, being a promise keeper will surely fulfil his promise to implement it before leaving office. 

 We are happy and grateful that he has acceded to our request to appoint journalists in Government employ as Permanent Secretaries as in the case of Pastor Praise Okon who was sworn in today. We are hopeful that more Journalists will be appointment soon. 

We are on the verge of elections in the State and across the Nation. We appeal to all candidates and political parties to play by the rule and avoid politics of rancour and bitterness. Let votes count and let the Ballot be the decider. Security agencies should rise to the occasion to nip in the bud crisis that may mar the conduct of the elections. We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be fully prepared and to remain neutral to ensure the credibility of the elections. The electoral processes should be transparent and satisfactory to all parties. 

As we enter the New Year, we are going to God to offer thanks and to commit the Union into God’s care. And in line with our disposition towards the promotion of unity, peace, development and tranquillity in the State, we are holding the 2015 New Year Thanksgiving Service in Eket Senatorial District (ESD) at Methodist Church Nigeria, Idung Ekaiko, Etebi Circuit in Esit Eket Local Government Area by 10:00 am prompt.  

We recall that the NUJ 2014 New Year Thanksgiving Service was held at Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District at the Rapture Trust Gospel Ministries International, Ukanafun in Ukanafun Local Government Area.  NUJ shall continue to emphasise the oneness of our people irrespective of dialectal differences.  

Finally, we thank Governor Godswill Akpabio, CON, for the wonderful collaboration with the Union in the year ended. We recall with nostalgia, the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Godswill Akpabio International Press Centre, which was personally performed by him with his pledge of initial donation of N100million for the take off of the project. We know that he will ensure the fruition of the enviable venture which will go a long way to complement the Ibom International Stadium by playing host to visiting journalists from other parts of the country and abroad.  

We also commend the Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications, Elder Aniekan Umanah for his invigorating leadership, support and rapport with NUJ. We also appreciate the Chief Press secretary to the Governor, Pastor Anietie Ukpe and all Media Assistants to the Governor as well as Media Executives for the cooperation and support always extended to us.
Our successes could not have been possible without the active collaboration, understanding and support of the leadership and members of Chapels.
We thank you all. And may God bless us all.

-Being a New Year address delivered by Elder Patrick Albert, chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council at the State Congress of the Union held on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment