End In Sight To Ekiti Nuj Crisis... As CP, DSS Wade in
There is an end in sight to the crisis rocking the Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr Abdullahi Chafe and the Director of the State Security Service, Mohammed Abdufatai held separate meetings with the Stakeholders yesterday.
These meetings were sequel to the crisis which erupted at the Press Centre of the State Council of the union on Tuesday 5, December 2017 during which a staff of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES), Mr Kelechi David and that of Radio Nigeria, Progress FM, Mr Kayode Babatuyi sustained injuries.
It would be recalled that the union's election was aborted on November 15, 2017 when the BSES Chapel, allegedly aided by the Information chapel protested over the reduction in the names of its eligible voters. This led to violence as the aggrieved members of the union reportedly gained entrance to the venue of the election forcefully and disrupted the election process destroying ballot boxes and other election materials.
This led to the inauguration of a Caretaker committee by the national Secretariat. While inaugurating the Caretaker committee, the National Senior Assistant Secretary, Mr Gbemiga Bamidele stated that their action was protected by Section 5 of the union's Constitution.
However, the Credentials Committee headed by a staff of NTA Ado Ekiti, Mr Deji Ogunsakin, which had earlier been dissolved by the National official, went ahead to inaugurate a parallel committee on same day. It was headed by Mr Adeola Babalola, a staff of Ministry of Information, Ekiti State. The Caretaker Committee inaugurated by the National Secretariat was headed by Mr Amos Ogunrinde of the Federal Radio Corporation, Progress FM Ado Ekiti
After the aborted election, the two factions had been trading accusations and counter accusations on both the State own Station and Federal Radio Corporation over which side was authentic. The Adeola Babalola led group accused the Vice President of conniving with some powerful elements within the union in the State while the Amos Ogunrinde led faction claimed to have been dully set up by the national Secretariat.
The Vice President of Zone B of the union, Mr Cosmas Oni described the allegations as being petty because according to him, he and the officials that came for the election acted in accordance to the constitution of the union and that "if anyone felt aggrieved, destroying properties like garage boys should not be the solution because there are laid down Chanel's of seeking redress in the union."
The Caretaker Committee set up by the national Secretariat held its congress on December 31 at the Press centre attended by six out of the eight chapels in the State namely: Correspondents, FRCN Progress FM, NTA, Federal Information, Local Govt Information and NOA Chapels. At the Congress which was massively attended, they resolved to conduct the election in December asking chapels to submit their list of qualified voters which would be pasted for claims and objections.
In a twist of event, the Adeola Babalola led faction also slated its on Congress for December 5 at the same venue. On getting there, the Press Centre had been locked and keys taken away by the Amos Ogunrinde led caretaker committee. This didn't go down well with Babalola led group which forcefully broke into the Press Centre but in the process of resisting them from gaining entrance, fight broke out between Mr Kelechi and Babatuyi, leading to the sustaining of injuries.
|Kelechi David's injured head|
To forestall the crisis which occurred on that day, Mr Ogunrinde said he had written a letter to the Area Command of the Nigerian police where he was directed to the CP. According to him, "in getting to the CP's office I didn't meet him but u dropped the letter and went to the PPRO who directed me back to Okesa Area Police Command. On getting there, they insisted that I should go and see the CP but when crisis erupted, the Area Command which had declined to come and forestall crisis, came to provide police protection for the illegal committee which forcefully broke in to the press centre."
|Kayode Babatuyi's wounded leg|
Meanwhile the Police charged the two factions together for affray. Addressing the at Ojesa Police Station, the District Crime Officer, Mr Falowo said; "I'm not interested to entertain any settlement at my level here, when you all get to the State Command the CP who is my father (jocularly) will sort it out for you.
However, the leaders of the union waded in to ensure that the two parties were resolved after different meeting with the Directorate of State Services and the State Police Command.
Those leaders present at the CP's office are: former State Chairman of NUJ, Akogun Tai Oguntayo, NAWOJ Coordinator in the State, Mrs Yomi Osuntokun, Director of News, EKTV, Mr Oku Popoola, GM of Progress FM, Mr Yinka Akintola and the Chairman of the Caretaker committee set up by the national Secretariat, Mr Amos Ogunrinde.
Others are: former State Secretary if the Union, Mrs Ronke Shamo, factional Chairman of the caretaker committee, Mr Adeola Babalola, the two Chairmanship aspirants; Messrs Rotimi Ojomoyela and Rotimi Feyisetan.
Some chapel leaders were also present among who are: Chairman of Correspondents chapel, Mr Sam Nwaoko if Tribune newspaper, Chairman of BSES, Mr Bisi Oluwasona among others. The principal actors who were victims of the crisis, Messrs Kelechi Davide of the BSES, Kayode Babatuyi and Niyi Alade of the Progress FM were also present.
In his post crisis addressed posted on EKITI NUJ PLATFORM and made available to Fountain Newsbreaker, the former State Chairman of the union, Akogun Tai Oguntayo who served between 2008 and 2011 wrote:
ATTENTION TO ALL MEMBERS, EKITI NUJ
Pls I want to appeal to all of us and all the chapels to let us forgive one another and reunite in the interest of our union. We have no doubt offended one another but let's try to forgive and forget as good Christians & Muslims.
NUJ politics, no matter how microcosm it may appear to be, can set friends against each other, followers against leaders and family against each other.
|Akogun Tai Oguntayo former NUJ Boss in Ekiti State|
NUJ is one family which is also prone to disagreement but we shouldn't allow it to permanently set us against one another. I felt bad when I got home from the State Police Command yesterday and reflected on all that happened in the past. Rotimi Feyisina & Rotimi Ojomoyela are perfect gentlemen and highly intelligent guys. I met both at the State Command and all of us exchanged pleasantries including the caretake committee chairman & the parallel group leader; Amos Ogunrinde & Adeola Babalola respectively. My house shares the same fence with that of the immediate past Chairman, Laolu Omosilade. So, if there can be a VERY smooth relationship between Jackson Adebayo of PDP & my humble self even while we were both spokespersons of different political parties, why should there be irreconcilable differences between me and Chief Omosilade or anyone for that matter in the union?
If politicians in larger politics disagree under different political parties and later reunite under the same party, why should we fight under the same indivisible union and not reunite again? I have my own fault as a leader and you have yours. Let's bury the hatchet and move forward please.