Mrs Toro Oladapo, a former National President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has urged media professionals to use the September 30 elections of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council, to set standards for the nation’s polity.
Oladapo made the call while receiving the campaign team of Mr Adeleye Ajayi, a chairmanship candidate in the election, at the Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy on Thursday.
She said the 2017 NUJ election was unique in the history of the union going by the calibre of contestants.
“I am happy that professionals with great potential are beginning to show interest in the politics of the union.
“And for us the voters, it is becoming difficult to make a choice because the competition is strong.
“I spent a better part of my career in NAN for 19 years, and I worked with Ajayi on the Economic Desk; so, I know him and
he is a `perfect’ candidate.
“I am, however, appealing to my colleagues that we conduct ourselves as professionals by avoiding hate speech and ensuring a rancour-free election.
“Let us use this coming NUJ election to set standards for other elections in our country, ” the Director, Lagos State Ministry of
Mr Wale Akodu, the Chairman of the chapel, said it was an honour that Ajayi kicked off his campaign at the ministry.
Akodu urged members to do their biometric registration to qualify them to vote in the elections.
He also advised the candidate to be focused and keep faith with his campaign promises if elected.
On her part, Mrs Funke Moore, the General Manager, Lagos State Television (LTV), who commended Ajayi for coming out to volunteer to lead journalists, said: “Your vision is quite laudable especially your plan to train and retrain journalists.”
She urged him to be gender-sensitive by ensuring that women were carried along in his administration if elected.
In his remarks, the General Manager of Lagos Traffic Radio, Dr Yinka Adagun, said election period was another opportunity to elect leaders, who would lead the union in the next three years.
He promised to mobilise his members to be part of the ongoing registration of journalists nationwide and for a good turnout for the election.
For Mr Ajibola Ojesola, the Chairman, LTV chapel, a level-playing field will ensure a credible, violence-free and successful election.
At Radio Lagos/Eko FM, Mr Ayodele Ilori, the Chapel Chairman, noted that many challenges were confronting the union.
According to him, Ajayi is a tested and trusted personality and has the capacity to take the union to the “next level’’.
In his speech with the theme, “Era of Collective Responsibility”, Ajayi, promised to give members a sense of belonging by creating committees to be headed by reputable people from different chapels.
According to him, efforts will be intensified to bring everybody on board especially women and elders.
“Accountability is my watchword, I believe in taking stock of revenue and expenditures. I will pay proper attention to accountability. Our account will be very transparent and be rendered quarterly.
“On capacity building, we will give members opportunities to be trained locally and outside the country. I have done it before as MARAN President because I have the contacts.
“Welfare will be our focus and I can assure you of this and we will continue negotiation on media salary structure and prompt payment of journalists’ wages by media owners. Also, we will not neglect the elders.
Ajayi, who added that the focus of the monthly NUJ Congress would change as veterans would be invited to give talks on journalism-related issues particularly new trends in journalism.
On the NUJ Mowe Land, he promised to look into the issue with dispatch if elected.
On the speculations that he was being sponsored by some people within the union, Ajayi, an Assistant Editor-in-Chief in NAN, said:“I have conscience and I have come of age and, therefore, I cannot be a stooge to anyone.
“I have contested elections as National Financial Secretary, President of Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) and Secretary of NAN chapel without the sponsorship of anybody. I am independent minded and I remain so.’’