THE Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has distanced itself from reports that a faction group had emerged.
Secretary of NUJ FCT Council Ochiaka Ugwu said although he is aware of the new association, it is not a faction of the NUJ. According to him, the person behind the new group is only exercising his rights to freedom of association.
“The publication is self-explanatory because it says Association of Nigerian Journalists’ and not faction of NUJ. That person is not even known anywhere, he is not even an executive of the State Council or Chapel of NUJ, he is only exercising his right,” Ugwu said.
He added that the NUJ had on Friday held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday before departing on Saturday and there were no talks of a faction.
Debunking reports of a faction, Ogun State NUJ Secretary, Oluokun Olawale, said it is the handwork of some group of people who had been disciplined.
“As we speak, the union is still intact, so whatever association they create, they are free to do so but NUJ is still one,” Olawale stated.
When asked about the questions surrounding the academic certificate of Christopher Isiguzo, the NUJ President, Olawale said the Thisday editor is qualified and he is the president.
An aggrieved member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists had announced the establishment of a splitter group due to the alleged “highhandedness” of the incumbent NUJ president.
Benson Agwu, who identified himself as the Preterm Executive Secretary of the new group, said it was time to restore the dignity of the profession which he said had been under wreck at the watch of Isiguzo.
Agwu in a statement on Sunday added that the union was not progressing under the president whose academic qualification had remained in question.
The ICIR had reported how the NUJ president earlier was sacked by ThisDay Newspaper over certificate forgery.
Joseph Ushigiale, Managing Editor at ThisDay Newspapers, had confirmed to The ICIR that Isiguzo was sacked because he could not defend his academic qualifications.
“From the management’s findings, when Isiguzo submitted a handwritten application in 2006 when he sought employment at the organisation, he wrote in it that he is an HND holder.
“And we decided that he has been very economical with the truth, because he has misled us in presenting documents that are not substantiated,” Ushigale had told The ICIR.
Hours later, ThisDay rescinded the termination letter following the directive of the Publisher, Nduka Obaigbena, and Isiguzo emerged as the NUJ president.