Features and Commentaries
A'Ibom NUJ: Deepening The Ideals Of Professionalism/Unionism In The Last One Year
By Dominic Akpan
August 03, 2020
he current leadership of
the Nigeria Union of
Journalists, Akwa Ibom
State Council, was instituted on
Friday, August 2, 2019, immediately after the council's elections.
Aware of the huge burden of
providing a good direction to the
Union, the State chairman, Comrade Amos Etuk, and his team
hit the ground running with ideas
that have changed the narrative
of leadership in the NUJ.
The first thing Etuk did was to
organise a seminar for members
of the State Executive Committee (SEC), in Eket, in September, 2019.
This was followed by a threeday seminar on investigative reporting organized by the Next
Edition Centre for Investigative
Reporting in collaboration with
There were also specialized
training programmes for members outside the executive committee. For instance, selected
journalists from the State attended a seminar organised by
the Nigerian Press Council for
the South South Zone in Benin
City, Edo State, in December,
All these were aimed at sharpening the skills of journalists in
the State and make them stay
on the path of professionalism.
Members are regularly reminded to ensure that truth, objectivity, fairness and other timetested principles of journalism
are observed at all times in their
Today, the issue of quacks parading themselves as journalists
has been effectively curtailed
with the use of the NUJ compendium in all activities of the
The Special Duty Committee,
which is one of the nine standing committees set up by the
Union is empowered to monitor
all events and look out for impostors.
The compendium has also
been submitted to different organizations for reference when
they are in doubt about the identity of any 'journalist'.
The nine standing committees
are to assist the leadership in
achieving its targets, among other
The achievements of the Etukled NUJ will be more appreciated when viewed from the perspective of aggressive pursuit of journalists' welfare.
A welfare policy was put in
place by the immediate past administration, but implementation
of the provisions of the document commenced the day the
current leadership came on
Much to the admiration of
members of the Union, the welfare policy is implemented in a
way that does not cast any doubt
on its sustainability.
So far, the Union has disbursed
over N2million to 36 members
under its welfare scheme.
The current leadership has also
scored another first by publishing a magazine; NUJ Standard,
The first edition of the magazine was presented to the public
on Monday, March 10, 2020
The second edition will be unveiled on Monday, August 3, at
the Press Centre, as part of activities marking the first anniversary of the Etuk-led executive.
Applauding the NUJ for the
quarterly magazine initiative, the
Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses
Ekpo, said in a letter of commendation that the idea came
at the right time and urged the
Editorial Board to ensure that it
(NUJ Standard) serves as a
demonstration ground for the ideals of fairness and balanced reportage.
In the last one year, the leadership has organized spiritual convocations to thank the Almighty God for His benevolence
on the Union. They included
worship sessions and thanksgiving services. The Union's last
thanksgiving service, which was
held on Sunday, January 19, 2020
at Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Akpan
Anwa, Ika Local Government
Area, was a huge success in all
Similarly, the 2019 Press Week
was adjudged the best in terms
of organization and presentation.
The State Congress of the
Union has been held monthly
since September, 2019, until
COVID-19 arrived with its disruptive fangs, forcing governments to adopt safety measures
to combat its spread since April.
The congress was another engagement ground with interest
groups, individuals and corporate
At the zonal level, the State
Council has registered its presence through active involvements in activities of the Union.
Etuk, the State Secretary,
Comrade Dominic Akpan, and
the Zonal Secretary, Elder
Bassey Eyoh, Ph.D, attended
the Zone F meeting, in PortHarcourt, Rivers State last year.
In February, 2020, the State
Council hosted the Zonal meeting, where decisions that will
have great impact on the Union
Regular interactions with past leaders and all organs of the
Union have helped to settle
many issues in the Union.
In addition, the State Council
organized the first- ever Christmas Concert in December, 2019
and NUJ Fitness Walk and
Games in February.
A reflection on the activities of
the union in the last one year has
revealed that the good governance principles woven around
transparency, sincerity and engagements form the modus operandi of the Etuk-led NUJ.
When the effect of COVID19 lockdown became unbearable, Etuk rose to the occasion.
He liaised with the state government and got the Union's
share of the palliatives for members.
Besides, the State Council also
played an active role in disseminating the right information to the
public on COVID-19.
It also went on a tour of the
Isolation Centre located within
the premises of Infectious Disease Hospital, Ikot Ekpene.
A seminar was mounted at
Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo, to
train journalists on how to report the pandemic without creating fear in the minds of the
So far, it has been a harvest of
appreciable impact on the lives
of journalists in Akwa Ibom by
the Etuk-led NUJ in the last one