-Writes governor Uzodinma to caution him
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council has drawn the attention of the state governor, Hope Uzodinma to what it called the divisive and duplicitous activities of the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba who in a bid to feather his nest is fanning the embers of discord, rancour and acrimony to polarize and weaken the union, thereby de-marketing the state governor and his administration who he portrays as interested parties in the crises rocking the Imo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
The union also disclosed that, “contrary to the impression created by Emelumba to sustain his lies and devious money spinning schemes, we are not against your government but have vowed to resist impunity, criminality and imposition of quacks and non professionals as leaders of Imo NUJ.”
This was contained a letter signed by Comrade Precious Nwadike and Deacon Austin Okoro as Caretaker Chairman and Secretary respectively, addressed to the governor, through the office of the chief of Staff.
The union noted that trouble started when the former Chairman, Innocent Igwe’s peaceful but unproductive tenure elapsed and election for a new executives scheduled for June 2018.
“To this end, an electoral committee comprising Eze Adiukwu as Chairman and Vivian Otti as Secretary was inaugurated, while Lambert Ojukwu, Andy Uneze and Chris Akaraonye(who was not qualify to stand in for election) was Chairmanship candidates.”
The Letter further stated that media practitioners in the state became disenchanted when they realized that former governor Rochas Okorocha and his Chief Press Secretary were supporting Chris Akaraonye a non journalist who retired as a photographer from the Ministry of Information, this among other reasons were why they rejected Akaraonye and turned their backs on him.
They however regretted that despites the emergence of Emma Odigbo, Chris Ogbnna and Ezenwa Ngere as Vice Chairman, Financial Secretary and Auditor respectively at the June 2018 Imo NUJ election and having noticed that Imo journalists were not favourably disposed to electing Akaraonye who was Okorocha’s candidate as Chairman crisis erupted over claims and counter claims of discrepancies in the delegates list. Meanwhile, Okorocha’s and Uche Nwosu’s aides, including Sam Onwuemedo were already at the venue of the election.”
Continuing, they said, sensing Akaraonye’s imminent defeat at the election, the governor’s aides persuaded Isiguzo and his team who were lodged at Government House to call off the election and announce a postponement.
It was also gathered that sequel to the unpleasant development, the FRANCIS Ebonugwo-led caretaker committee was inaugurated and mandated to harmonize the delegates list and conclude the election process within three months.
However the committee did not do so after two terms of three months each because the powers that be which had perfected plans to buy the Imo NUJ secretariat wanted Akaraonye who would perfect the alleged criminal act to be foisted on Imo journalists.
At this point Elder Lambert Ojukwu, and Amby Uneze in a bid to ensure that the right thing is done in line with the constitution of Imo NUJ, went to court on January, 19, 2020 to compel the Electoral Committee to conclude the electoral process and fill the four remaining vacant positions.
Surprisingly, after all the parties involved had been served hearing notices and first hearing scheduled for March 12, 2019, the National President Chris Isiguzo who was the arrow head of the fraudulent sale of the Imo NUJ Secretariat ordered the inauguration of Akaraonye as Chairman, thereby incurring the wrath of practicing journalists in the state.
These events, they said led to the inauguration of the Steve Uzochi-led Caretaker Committee which performed excellently during tenure its month tenure after which the Comrade Precious Nwadike-led Caretaker Committee which is still in place was constituted.
The letter said the two Caretaker Committees, aside foiling the sale of the union’s secretariat which has been renovated, refurbished and equipped with a cyber café for the use of media practitioners, also took measures to restore peace and unity by involving elders and veteran journalists in the affairs of the union.
They regretted that, “Declan Emelumba as the Commissioner for Information assumed office and instead of addressing the injustice melted out on Imo journalists by these criminal elements , told everyone who cared to listen that government’s interest was best protected by the crowd of vandals,retirees, civil servants and non-practitioners who Chris Akaraonye represented.
He was literally running his own NUJ using Akaraonye.
Some still believe he reduced himself to a defacto NUJ chairman in Imo.
He made no effort to bridge the gap and build peace in the union which would have been credited to the Governor, but he rather chose to credit the Governor with his shenanigans which were ultimately geared towards making money off the NUJ crisis.
He was not interested in building bridges and friendships for His Excellency, but was more concerned about his profiteering rackets using a discredited retiree.
During the NAWOJ elections, Emelumba also descended into the arena of conflict to impose Chris Akaraonye’s loyalists on the women journalists.
He even aided Akaraonye’s faction of NAWOJIANS to hold their contoversial election at the same New Secretariat that Government has marked as illegal structure designated for demolition.
Emelumba continued terrorizing Journalists he is supposed to protect. He suspended a nursing mother,Barr Vivian Otti in her place of work and transferred her unconditionally to Lagos.
Unknowingly, he has joined forces with, Rochas Okorocha men in a failed attempt to suppress the real media practitioners who resisted Okorocha’s plot to buy off our secretariat”.