From Jude Owuamanam, Managing Editor, Northern Operations
JOS (Sundiata Post) – A former Personal Assistant to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Mr. Paul Jatau, has emerged the new Chairman of the Plateau State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ. Jatau, a journalist with the state-owbes Nigerian Standard newspaper, worked with Lalong as PA when he was the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly.
Jatau defeated Mr. Putmang Illiya Amos, of the Plateau Radio and Television Corporation by 141 to 91 votes
Also in the high pitch election, Mr. Peter Amine of the News Agency of Nigeria defeated Miss Ladi Emmanuel of Ministry of Information by 125 to 110 votes. Two other posts, Vice Chairman, and Assistant Secretary were hotly contested with Mr. Jabbe Detawo defeating Ralph Madugu to emerge the assistant secretary and Gideon Mitu defeating Muritala Sani to the position of Vice Chairman . The rest of the positions were unopposed. They were the auditor, treasurer and financial secretary.
In his acceptance speech, Jatau promised to be magnanimous in victory and to carry everybody along.
He said the journalism profession, just any other sector had suffered in recent past, adding “We have been witnesses to the hate speeches which have caused a lot of disaffection between the various ethnic groups domiciled in different parts of the country. As journalists we have not been immune to this, we cannot deny the fact that we have helped in no small measure in stocking the embers of disaffection. Indeed we have not played the part expected of us.
“This has affected the union and until we purge ourselves of this canker worm, we will continue to lose elegance and not contribute to the debate on national cohesion and development as we should be doing. As a matter of fact, we in the Plateau council of NUJ have been most affected by this sad and unfortunate bug, which has not allowed us to operate optimally”
Jatau admonished journalists to take a look at the union and embark on self reexamination
Hesaid “It is trite knowledge that any house divided against itself shall not stand. We must therefore strive to start working out means through which we an become a formidable force once again. We must begin to talk to each other regularly and fashion out ways to work as a unit so that Wherever we go we an earn respect as a council.”