By Emmanuel Antswen
Makurdi – Mr Abiodun Olalere, who is aspiring to be President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has promised to force employers to settle salaries, pensions and other entitlements owed newsmen.
Olalere, who was in Makurdi on Thursday, on a consultation visit to the Benue chapter of the union, said he would also ensure regular payments of salaries to media workers and prosecute defaulting employers.
The aspirant decried a situation where journalists’ salaries were hardly paid, regretting that some newsmen were owed years of salaries, pensions and gratuity.
“When journalists are not paid their salaries, it becomes morally difficult to hold them to basic ethics. We shall not allow employers to deny our members their entitlements,” he said.
Olalere also promised to amend the union’s constitution, saying that the measure had become necessary to address several lingering issues.
The aspirant, who promised to restore sanity and integrity to the system, promised to run the body for “just one term of 3 years”, if elected
He expressed dissatisfaction with NUJ’s decision to adopt different guidelines for the conduct of state chapters’ elections in different states, saying that the situation had often bred injustice and crisis.
The aspirant, who is the immediate past chairman of the Osun State chapter of the union, promised to focus on promoting the core values of journalism, adding that he would run a participatory system that would involve all members.
In his remarks, Mr Martins Kajo, acting chairman of the union in Benue, said that the chapter would access the presidential aspirants on merit.
Kajo commended the aspirant’s “brilliant” blueprint toward an effective and efficient NUJ, and called for unity among members to meet set goals.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NUJ delegates conference is scheduled to hold in Abeokuta in October.