The long-drawn battle between two factions in the Imo chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) appear to be coming to an end if emerging feelers are anything to go by.
The group led by Comrade Chris Akaraonye has been locked in an unending battle against the other faction led by Ojukwu who appears to be enjoying a popular rating. Both groups are also locked in a legal battle where rapprochements have been brokered without success by elders of the union.
Trouble began for the union in June 2018 when the election of officers was marred by controversies leading to the setting up of an interim management committee for a 3-month period. After the expiration of their tenure, one thing led to another before the emergence of Akaraonye in what the other group dubbed as a “kangaroo election held nichodemously”
Efforts to resolve the logjam through the courts has been unsuccessful until reportedly, a few patriots resolved to explore provisions in the constitution to seek ways forward thus the emergence of Steve Uzoechi.
Uzoechi is the Chairman of the Imo Correspondents Chapel and State Correspondent of the Telegraph newspaper. Speaking with News Echo reporter shortly after his inauguration, he remarked that the change is in the best interest of all journalists.
In his words, “we need all hands-on deck. We are going to set up many committees and there is so much work to do to hit the ground running to recover lost space. Everything is in our best interest”
Ojukwu in reaction stated thus, “journalists in Imo are saying that the thing is grinding their profession, what they did is in line with the constitution, I support it even though I am still in Court pursuing the matter.”
A statement issued by the Akaraonye faction and signed by his Secretary, Juliet Dim, stated that “Imo State Council of Nigeria Union of journalists is still intact. The general public should pls disregard any so-called kangaroo caretaker Committee of this group”
It further informed that the court matter is slated for November 24, 2020.