By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – Mr Chris Isiguzo, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has tasked leaders and members of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), to remain united so as to build a strong indivisible force.
Isiguzo made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the celebration of International Girl-Child Day, and the unveiling of NAWOJ’s 30th Anniversary Logo.
He pleaded with past leaders of NAWOJ to continue to support the association to attain greater heights, adding that it was an error on the part of any past leader to attempt to destroy the association.
“When it looked as if the wind was going to blow NAWOJ away, the national secretary and I traveled to Lagos and tackled the whirlwind. Today, there is peace in NAWOJ.
“I want to believe that this peace is going to last for a very long time.
“I want to also use this opportunity to tell past leaders of NAWOJ that they should not stand and watch while a house they built is collapsing.
“I want to appeal to past leaders of NAWOJ to come together and join hands with the current leadership to make sure that NAWOJ remains strong.
“I will also appeal to past leaders of NUJ to join hands with the leadership in place to make sure that the house they left continues to get stronger and stronger,” he said.
He also urged the leadership of NAWOJ to make the issue of office accommodation a priority, saying that the association had come of age and deserved a befitting headquarters.
The NUJ boss said that the current impasse that had torn the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), into shreds would soon be resolved, adding that NUJ would ensure that the body remained united.
In her remarks, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowole, NUJ President, said that the association had done a lot and achieved so much at 30, adding that NAWOJ had become a forceful voice for women and children.
Omowole said that NAWOJ would continue to advocate for rights of women and children, and even young boys whose rights were being infringed.
She added that the association would also ensure that women journalists got trained both locally and internationally.
“At 30, NAWOJ has done a lot for itself; we have ensured that laws are enacted that will help women and children.
“NAWOJ was part of the lobbying and all the processes that led to the National Health Insurance Scheme law which former President Goodluck Jonathan assented to.
“The NAWOJ lobbying group ensured that it was domesticated in all the states.
“Over the years, NAWOJ has become a force no one can ignore,” she declared.
Dr Jummai Umar-Ajibola, Chairperson, Board of ActionAid Nigeria, commended NAWOJ for its achievements in advocating for women and the girl-child’s right.
Umar-Ajibola said that NAWOJ and ActionAid needed to collaborate more because of their significant roles in advocacy.
She, however, urged NAWOJ to take advantage of some grant and funding opportunities available at the ActionAid to push forward their objectives in supporting women programmes.
“Without your push that ensured the reporting of issues bordering on women’s right, I don’t think we will be where we are today.
“This event is coming at the right moment when we are celebrating the day of the girl-child.
“There are other ways we can collaborate, especially in the areas of strategic opportunity fund for women organisations,” she added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that NAWOJ, while celebrating the international day of the girl-child, unveiled its 30th Anniversary Logo and the sticker for FCT chapter.