Lagos NUJ SEC Members Reject Caretaker Committee, Say It’s Illegal

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos


Members of the State Executive Committee (SEC), Lagos Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) have disowned what they described as an illegal Caretaker Committee foisted on the Council by the National Secretariat of the Union.
It will be recalled that the National body led by the Assistant National Secretary Korede Rauph Opeyemi, following the botched election of the Lagos Council of the Union on Thursday, 5th November 2020, had set up caretaker committee, whose members were selected from a handful of chapel members in attendance.
But in a communique issued on Tuesday, made available to newsmen, the SEC members drawn from 13 Chapels, posited that the caretaker committee is unconstitutional.
The communique was signed by Lateef Odegbenle, Chairman Daar  Chapel, Fabian Anawo, chairman FRCN Chapel, Adamson Momoh, Chairman, VON Chapel, Abolore AbdulRahmon, Secretary, VON Chapel, Olanrewaju Olatunbosun, chairman, Radio Lagos Chapel, Olatunde Adeniyi, Secretary, Radio Lagos Chapel and Murtala Aleem Chairman Tell Chapel.
Others are Rabiu Hassan, Chairman Local Government Information Chapel, Bakare Temitayo, Secretary Local Government nformation Chapel, Tunde Umar Daniah, Chairman, The Powerful Pen Chapel, Udochukwu Onyeka,Secretary The Powerful Pen Chapel, Taiwo Olapade, Chairman Inspiration FM Chapel, Barbara Negbejie, Secretary Federal Information chapel, Amadi Job, Secretary, FRCN Chapel, Samson Akintaro,Secretary, New Telegraph Chapel, Grace Achum, Chairman, Business Plus Chapel, Nelson Asi George, Secretary, Business Plus Chapel, Kabir Alabi Garba, Chairman Guardian Chapel and Sunday Odita Secretary Guardian Chapel.
They asserted that the Congress of 5th November, 2020, which the formation of the caretaker committee was predicated upon,was inconclusive as it was in progress when some members made it rowdy, leading to the security operatives trying to make peace. 
According to the communique, the exco was not dissolved, as the Chairman of Council, Dr. Qasim Akinreti was still at the meeting called by the security operatives, when some members left and started to conduct election.
They therefore resolved that the National Secretariat should immediately disband the Caretaker Committee it set up and stop causing crisis in Lagos Council.
in addition, they implored that the National Secretariat should investigate, unveil and punish those who were allegedly conducting an illegal election on its behalf.

Further, they asked that the Council Chairman Dr. Akinreti should initiate the process of setting up a new Credentials Committee to conduct fresh election.

They also reaffirmed the leadership of Dr Qasim Akinreti and urge him not to resort to self help but use every peaceful and legal means to protect the Lagos NUJ assets. The communique reads, “We, members of the  State Executive Committee, SEC of the Lagos Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists have met and evaluated the State of our Council following the botched Council election on the 5th of November.
The events that led to the election not holding was most unfortunate. The tension that was created was caused by the action of the National Secretariat which was bent on disenfranchising members who are financially upto date.
It is important to note that the Congress of November 5 was inconclusive as it was in progress when some members made it rowdy leading to the security operatives trying to make peace. The exco was not dissolved as the Chairman of Council, Dr. Qasim Akinreti was at the meeting called by the security operatives when some members left and started to conduct election.
We are surprised that the National Secretariat would set up a Caretaker Committee when there is a subsisting Exco.
We therefore resolve as follows.
 1. That the Caretaker Committee set up by the National Secrt been dissolved.
2. That the National Secretariat should immediately disband the Caretaker Committee it set up and stop causing crisis in Lagos Council.
3. That the National Secretariat should investigate, unveil and punish those who were allegedly conducting an illegal election on its behalf.
4. That the Council Chairman should initiate the process of setting up a new Credentials Committee to conduct fresh election.
5. That SEC reaffirms the leadership of Dr Qasim Akinreti and urge him not to resort to self help but use every peaceful and legal means to protect the Lagos NUJ assets.
6. The SEC appeals to all Lagos Journalists who are being denied the right to vote to remain calm and go about their professional duties despite provocations.
7. The SEC urges the National Secretariat to restraint itself from endorsing illegality and act within the ambit of the NUJ Constitution.
8. The SEC is disturbed that the union is fast degenerating to a crisis body because of the vested interest of some National Principal officials of the union.
9. The SEC holds the National Secretariat responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Lagos Council”.

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