Home News Plateau NUJ deregisters News-Link chapel, says members not practising journalists

Plateau NUJ deregisters News-Link chapel, says members not practising journalists

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NUJ

By Blessing Odega

Jos, – The Plateau council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has deregistered the News Link chapel as part of measures to sanitise journalism practice in the state.

Mr Paul Jatau, the Chairman of the Council, in a statement in Jos, said that the existence of the chapel was an abberation because its members lacked the required conditions to operate as a correspondents chapel.

He said that the council, at an emergency congress attended by Mr Wilson Bako, NUJ Vice President, Zone D, resolved to deregister the chapel “to promote integrity, professionalism and ethical conduct as enshrined in the constitution of the NUJ”.

Jatau declared that the chapel was registered in error as it did not meet the conditions to operate as one.

According to him, the people who paraded themselves as members of the chapel never worked in any known media organisation.

“Some of them may have journalism-related qualifications, but they weren’t working in media organisations as stipulated by the NUJ constitution.

“The members of the deregistered chapel belong to other industrial unions, which shows where they belong,” he said.

The chairman lamented that the chapel had exposed the NUJ to “all manner of people who are not practising journalism”, and a

dvised those who are actually practising journalism in the News-Link Chapel to federate with any other recognised chapel of the NUJ in the state.

The NUJ also warned members of the public, who are not journalists but using the NUJ membership stickers on their cars, to desist from the act as the union would take legal measures against anyone caught.

Reacting, Mr Michael Agada, chairman of the deregistered chapel, admitted that members of the defunct chapel belonged to other organisations and were not practising journalists, but explained that some had

 first and second degrees in mass communication.

He, however, said that the members were trained journalists and had always contributed publications to some web sites.

“Some of our members have first and second degrees in Mass Communication and would want to affiliate with the NUJ; that was why we sought and got the registration.”

Agada alleged that his chapel was deregistered because of envy.

“The NUJ leadership in Jos was not confortable with us because members of my chapel have better qualifications than most of the members in the union.

“We have always insisted on justice in the treatment of journalsists. The NUJ descended on us because we abhor the unfair treatment meted on those not in their good books.”

He claimed that the Plateau council of the NUJ had no right to deregister the chapel because it did not register it in the first place.

“Our chapel was not registered in Plateau. We were registered by the NUJ headquarters in Abuja,” he said.

Jatau, the NUJ council chairman, has however laughed at suggestions that the council was envious of members of the deregistered chapel and had to remove it because it was posing a threat.

“There are many things that we cannot tell you. But the bottom line is that the chapel constituted a massive threat to the good name of the profession.

“Again, based on the constitution of the NUJ, only practising journalists are allowed to be members of the union.

“Members of the deregistered chapel may have journalism-related qualifications, but they weren’t working in any media organisation as stipulated by the NUJ constitution.

“The members of the deregistered chapel belonged to other industrial union, which shows where they actually work and belong,” he told NAN.

He further disclosed that due process was followed in the deregistration process, pointing out that a member of the union’s national executive council was present when the chapel was deregistered.

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