following the failed attempt by the duo of Chris Akaraonye, a retired photographer with the Ministry of Information who lays claim to the leadership of Imo NUJ and the commissioner for Information and strategy, Mr Declan Emelumba to frustrate the flag off of the renovation of the Imo NUJ Port Harcourt Road Secretariat on Wednesday, the caretaker committee of Imo NUJ led by Comrade Precious Nwadike yesterday began the process of renovation of the secretariat.
Our reporter who visited the Secretariat observed that work was ongoing. According to him, the Union began with the renovation of the Conference hall with plan to extend to other areas within a space of time.
Some of the members of the caretaker committee and the press centre management committee led by Mr Chris Ogbonna were seen at the secretariat working so hard to beat the deadline given to them by the International Institute of Journalism, IIJ to have the school resettled.
It would be recalled that when Akaraonye, Innocent Igwe, the immediate past chairman of Union in Imo allegedly concluded plans to sell the secretariat, they evicted the IIJ and other occupants of the multi-million naira secretariat for the buyer to take full control. They didn’t stop at this, they went ahead to vandalize some of the buildings, including a 300 capacity hall and made away with equipment therein.
This decision was taken without the knowledge of Imo journalists but in cahoot with the National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo. It took the intervention of the caretaker committee to stop the sale and recover the secretariat.
Having recovered the school, the Abuja headquarters of IIJ has approved that the school be relocated to its original place at Port Harcourt Road but with condition that the council should bear the cost of relocating the school.
It would be recalled that Akaraonye was imposed by the past governor of Imo state, senator Rochas Okorocha without any election for the Primary purpose of buying the Union’s multi-million naira property but was rejected by the entire Imo Journalists.
It has, however, become of serious concern why Emelumba has continuously supported impostors who now operate at the building already marked for demolition by the same government he serves. The said building is generally viewed by majority of Imo journalists as a Greek gift to the Union.