By Gbenga Akingbule
Members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Borno State Council have on Tuesday call on the National Secretariat to explain its role in granting the controversial approval for the alleged sale of Union’s Land in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The Chapel also call on the Borno NUJ Council officials involved in the alleged sale of the land , “to as a matter of urgency, do everything legally possible to retrieve and return the said property.”
This was contained in a press statement released by Chapel at the end of an emergency meeting held on Monday to look into matters associated with the alleged sale of the Union’s Land in Maiduguri.
The statement which was jointly signed by the Correspondents’ Chapel Chairman , Alh. Haruna Dauda of the Voice of America and the Secretary, Mr Timothy Olanrewaju (JP) of The Sun Newspapers condemn unequivocally, the alleged sale of the Union property by some officials of the union without due process and flagrant disregard to the NUJ Constitution.
The Correspondents’ Chapel also gave the Borno NUJ officials one week ultimatum to covoke Congress Meeting where the alleged sale of the land and related issues can be addressed.
Recall that some key officials of the Borno NUJ had allegedly sold plots of land belonging to the union and shared the proceeds amounting to N13. 8 Million amongst themselves.
The officials were alleged to have approached the National Secretariat for approval for the sale of two plots which they sought to use the proceeds to erect perimeter fence but unfortunately, allegedly, went ahead to sale five and half plots base on inquiries by some Borno NUJ members.
This ugly development had forced four officials of the Borno NUJ Council who were not part of the alleged sleaze to tender their joint resignation letter from the Borno NUJ Council for their intergrity and that of the Union.
Other resolutions reached at the end of the emergency meeting of the Correspondents’ Chapel include :
” The chapel is appalled that despite the gravity of the act, the leadership of the union has refused to call a properly constituted SEC Meeting or Congress, where the issue can be addressed.
“As far as we, as a chapel are concerned, the meeting held on 25th January 2022, was more like an abridged stakeholders’ meeting, and its convocation did not conform with Article 5, Section F (g & h) of the NUJ Constitution.
” We advise former leaders of the union and our elders to comport themselves properly against any unbecoming utterances or act(s), concerning the land matter.
” We commend the Council Officials that tendered their resignations, for upholding a high level of standard and integrity; especially our own Mr Dauda Iliya.
” We, as concerned and bonafide members of the Union, have resolved to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion, to restore the dignity of the journalism profession.”