In a communiqué issued by Shuaibu Usman Leman, National Secretary of NUJ at the end of its Central Working Committee, CWC, while appraising the performance of journalists and the state of the nation, decried the situation where law-abiding citizens have been rendered helpless and vulnerable to repeated attacks by armed gangs, thus disrupting their livelihoods and destroying properties unhindered.
“On security, it calls on the Federal Government and the nation’s armed forces to arrest the increased killings by herdsmen across the country, particularly in Southern Kaduna and Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.
“While commending the efforts of the military so far, it decries the situation where law-abiding citizens have been rendered helpless and vulnerable to repeated attacks by armed gangs, thus disrupting their livelihoods and destroying properties unhindered,” the communiqué observed.
The union also called on the Inspector-General of Police to check the unhindered mass movement of young men across the country despite the restriction, particularly to the Southern and Eastern parts of the country, adding that this has created panic in these parts of the Country.
On the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, CWC called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to expedite action on the going audit of the Commission and findings made public.
It noted that unlike other probes in the past where findings were subverted, shredded in secrecy and in some cases swept under the carpet, it added that the NDDC must be repositioned to meet the cardinal objectives of impacting the lives of Niger Deltans and other oil-producing states.
The Central Working Committee commended the National President of NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo for prioritising the welfare of members especially the inclusion of Council Chairmen as members of the Joint Technical Task Team on COVID 19 to ensure easy movement of food and other essential commodities across the nation.
It also noted with satisfaction visitation to State Councils by the President as it affords him the opportunity of interacting with members and getting first hand information on the challenges of councils with a view to addressing them and urged him to continue the visit to other States after the COVID 19 pandemic.
The meeting equally applauds the President and the National Secretariat for the various training and foreign exchange programmes undertaken for members, noting that though the programmes were on self sponsorship, CWC encourages members to take advantage of such opportunities to improve themselves.
It condemned the continuous nonremittance of Check-Off dues by State Councils while the Secretariat grapples with many financial obligations. It, therefore, urges the Zonal Vice Presidents, Zonal Secretaries and National Trustees to liaise with Council Chairmen to ensure compliance.
The meeting urged media Chief Executives to consider payment of salaries as a priority to make life easy for media workers, while also urging them to look at ways of improving their revenue base rather than laying off their workers. “This will further worsen the living conditions of media workers already affected by the pandemic,” the communique added.
It appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten action in the provision of stabilisation fund for media houses to cushion the economic impact of COVID 19 on media organisations in the Country.