Three journalists have been suspended as members of the Correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ in Taraba State, for flouting the directive of the National Secretariat of NUJ, which suspended all union activities owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trio included Sani Sulaiman of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ben Adaji of New Telegraph and Magaji Hunkuyi of Daily Trust Newspapers.
They had in a briefing at the State Secretariat of the NUJ disclosed that 18 of the 25 members of the union passed a vote of no confidence on the sitting executive.
They also claimed two of the sitting executive members had also resigned their appointments to join their faction.
But in an emergency meeting at the Secretariat of the Correspondents Chapel in Jalingo, the state capital, the executive of the union led by Wole Ayodele of ThisDay Newspapers announced the suspension of the trio.
The congress was attended by 14 members of the chapel, including the two sitting executive members who were said to have resigned their appointments as Auditor and Vice Chairman.
Speaking to the press afterwards, Ayodele said, “They claimed we have 25 members in the Correspondent Chapel but our record shows that we only have 24 registered members.
“They also claimed 19 members signed the dissolution of the present executive including the Vice Chairman and the Auditor who they said resigned their appointments.
“But as you can see, the two executives who they claimed resigned are here with us and we have in total 14 of the 24 registered members of the chapel here.
“Our tenure will end in less than two months and we know they are scared of the forthcoming elections because they don’t have the members support to win, hence they resorted to falsehood.
“Besides, the National Secretariat of the NUJ had directed the suspension of all union activities, but we are in awe as to why those that are supposed to be informed are bereft of simple instructions from the National body of NUJ.”
Also Reacting, the Auditor of the union, Attanatious Okerafor of Daily Times Newspapers, refuted the reports of his resignation.
He said, “Whatever they said I did was in absentia and nobody can speak for me in my absence.
“I am still an executive member of this chapel and I disown whoever is claiming alliance with me to cause trouble in our union.
“I got a call the night before from some of my colleagues that I should tender a resignation letter which I did not.
“I am surprised why those that are so hungry for power would frame me for something like this.”
A copy of the letter addressed to the state chapter of NUJ conveying the suspension of the trio, which was signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Correspondents Chapel, Wole Ayodele of ThisDay and Justin Tyopuusu of Punch Newspapers respectively, was also copied to the National President of NUJ and National Vice President, Zone E.