Mr Adeleye Ajayi, Chairmanship candidate in the forthcoming elections of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Tuesday promised to restore the lost glory of the union.
Ajayi, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief with the News Agency of Nigeria , made this promise when his campaign train visited the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents Association (LAHACA).
NAN reports that the campaign, for the Sept. 29 elections, was led by Mrs Nike Sodipo, a Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Information, in company of other supporters of Ajayi’s ambition.
Reeling-out his programmes and agenda, Ajayi said that efforts would be made to boost the union’s revenue drive.
He promised to ensure prudent management of the council’s resources and quarterly audit of the NUJ accounts for transparency.
The chairmanship candidate told the journalists that he would bring his experience as a former President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) to bear, if elected into office.
He said COVID-19 pandemic had brought about new strategies, which must be embraced by journalists, adding that journalists could do something else apart from journalism.
“It is the will of God Almighty that we will win the election this time around, having contested and lost in 2017.
“We will approach the Bank of Industry to raise funds for our members for investment purposes.
“COVID-19 has taught us that we need to diversify, as many media houses are retrenching; we will ensure that employers of journalists pay pension for our colleagues as and when due.
“The issue of training is also important.
“I will ensure that this is done as I did for my members as the President of MARAN, when I took my members to many places for training programmes within and outside the country, and they got the financial packages.
“We will get sponsors for many things, and we can go into agro and transport businesses.
“My government will complete our Guest House in Somolu, and we will influence insurance policy for our members,” he said.
According to him, a situation whereby something happens to a journalist and his family suffers will be eliminated through life and health insurance policies.
On Mowe/Ofada Pen Jewel Estate project, the candidate said that he would adopt “a political solution’’ to refund money to every subscriber of the housing project.
While recalling that he influenced the purchase of 50 plots of land for MARAN members as president, Ajayi said that people who paid for lands in the estates would get their land as planned.
He also promised to be accountable as Lagos NUJ Chairman, adding that the union would be run with committees for different purposes.
The candidate, who revealed that nobody bankrolled his candidature in the 2017 election as it was being insinuated in some quarters, stressed the need for members of the union to go back to the ethics of the profession.
“We have to go back to the ethics of our profession; journalists must be well dressed so that people would respect us when they see us.
“I am a transparent man, nobody bankrolled my campaign programmes in 2017.
“If I were to be a candidate of the outgone executive members, as it was insinuated, I would have won that election by landslide.
“I would have just sat down with them and win the election. I don’t go to people to lobby. It was my personal funds and efforts that I utilised for the election,” Ajayi clarified.
He also used the occasion to decry the activities of those engaging in fake news, saying that they would be exposed and dealt with through the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the union.
They included: Alfred Odifa (Secretary) and Innocent Anaba (Financial Secretary).
In his response, the Chairman of LAHACA, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanya, promised to ensure the participation of his members in the election and wished the candidates good luck at the polls.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Olagoke Olatoye