Ahead of the September 30th Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos Council poll, a chairmanship candidate jostling for the control union has started his electioneering campaigns stating that if elected he would ensure foreign exposure and training for members to evenly compete with colleagues in other climes.
The candidate Mr Adeleye Ajayi, made this disclosure while flagging off of his campaign at the Lagos office of NAN recently.
“My leadership will play its part in ensuring that registered members of the union are constantly trained to meet up with global challenges,’’ Ajayi said.
He pledged to be committed to welfare as well as local and foreign training of media professionals, if given the mandate to lead the Lagos council.
He noted that professionals, need to constantly update their skills through training and retraining, to keep pace with global trends.
Rolling out his manifesto entitled “Era of Collective Responsibility“ Ajayi said that improving the professional capacity of journalists remained his priority.
The candidate also promised to empower journalists to be investigative and creative in their reportage.
Ajayi gave an assurance that he would promote collective responsibility and accountability, if elected.
“We are going to run the union with committees. On capacity building, I will facilitate training of journalists in places like London and U.S, among others.
“During monthly meetings, we will introduce educative programmes on investigative journalism, Information Communication Technology and many others, so that we will sharpen our skills.
“ We will partner with the Bank of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to ensure that members acquire entrepreneurial skills.
“On welfare, when people are in distress, we will come to their assistance.
“Our administration will step up efforts toward negotiating media salary structure and prompt payment of salaries. Workers deserve their wages,’’ he said.
Ajayi promised to tap from the experience of elders in the council, who would support the council in an advisory capacity.
Meanwhile Dr.Qasim Akinreti is another virile candidate, whose pedigree is great amidst the media circle having touched many journalists.
Also speaking, Mr Sunday Odita, President, Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), described Ajayi as a peace-loving and transparent personality that would take the state council to greater heights.
He said he was throwing his weight behind Ajayi as the next NUJ chairman because he has known him to be of impeccable character and believed he had a `divine project`.
“I have known him for over 15 years and his love for people and transparency is impeccable. I told people that if Ajayi agrees to contest, it will be a blessing to Lagos NUJ. I am very sure he is the next Chairman of Lagos NUJ,” he said.
Mrs Tokunbo Babs-Olurinde, Chairman, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, urged journalists in the state to do their online registration and pay the N5, 000 registration fees to be eligible voters on the Election Day.
Mr Tunde Olalere, from the Lagos State Ministry of Information, wished Ajayi well in the coming election.
Also, Mr Fred Edoreh, Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, in a message to the event, through Mr Debo Oshundun, a member of the association, described Ajayi as “a man of honour and integrity.’’
Unveiling the candidate, Mr Idonije Obakhedo, Head of Editorial, NAN-Lagos, said the agency was giving one of its best hands to NUJ in the person of Ajayi to take the council to an enviable state.
“I want everyone to join, encourage and support Ajayi in making him the next NUJ chairman in Lagos State.
“Let’s encourage and support him in the contest as he takes his campaign to all chapels,’’ the Deputy Editor-in-Chief said.
Mr Tayo Ikujuni, the Chairman of the Campaign Committee, in his vote of thanks, promised to take the campaign to every chapel in the state.