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AFTER NUJ OGUN STATE COUNCIL ELECTIONS, WHAT NEXT?

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BY: Ademola Orunbon

  First and Foremost, let me congratulate the winners of elections at their various positions in persons of Comrade Soji Amosu of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as the new Chairman of the State Council, Comrade Kunle Olayeni of New Telegraph (Correspondent), as Vice Chairman, Comrade Ayokunle Ewuoso of (Information), Secretary of the council, Comrade Abiodun Taiwo of Daily Times (Correspondent), as Assistant Secretary and the rest other of the Executives Council of the state NUJ, who took the mantle of leadership unopposed. Though, not that you were the best candidates to be emerged but the people voted you in to entrust their affairs of the council on you and to test your ability, capability, forthrightness and prudence in handling the positions of authority, rather not to be seeing yourselves as the best among the contenders. And you should not see those who lost out in the elections as failure but among them are even better in educational background, intelligence quotient (IQ) and even what it takes to steer the boat of the NUJ Ogun State council.

And let me sermon those who lost in the race, that winners  do not quit and quitter do not win, they are kindhearted fellow members of the council as they did their best to win the race and assume the leadership of the council. Notwithstanding, when two are fighting for a position or the others, it is one person will eventually emerge as the favourite candidate, indeed, I really salute your courages, compassionates, steadfastness and comradeship in accepting defeat at the elections and congratulated the winners, in persons of Comrade Oluremi Olugbenro, Comrade Abiodun Ogundipe, Comrade Daud Olatunde, Comrade Goke Oyebade, Comrade Bisi Alarape and the rest of all, as you accept defeat and stretch the hands of comradeship to the winners too. I really doff my hat and congratulations to you all too!

By and large, the election is over, and while the winners and wailers were basking in euphoria and celebrating of their winnings, they should not also remember those who lost in the elections that they might not be happy as the winners were rejoicing, not because they incur any debit to run the race but the chances to offer his/her best to the council was dashed by losing in the elections. That’s more reasons why those being elected need to work assiduously and also work in glove with those who lost out, so as to bring sanity and the lost glory of the council back. In fact, they really need to co-opt those who lost to them, on the activities of the council, not to see themselves as a semi god but just ordinary members of the state council. It was just the will of God that let them emerged victoriously, not by their qualifications, outstanding, egoism or tbeir meritorious work.

Now, the hurdle ahead of the new Executive Council Members (exco) of the council, if you look vividly at the council, you will realize that they have deviate from the original missions, visions and objectives of establishing the council which was named as “Iwe Irohin,” it happened to be a place of meeting point for reputable Journalists and well known people in the society but now it has became of a point of convergence for prostitutes and drunkards, due to non-challant attitude, recklessness and love for money of our larders that direct the affairs of the council. The council now become a dominance of illiterates, prostitutes, drunkards and the rest of all. The core Journalists threatened to abandon their council for aliens all because of illegality been perpetrated on daily basis at the secretariat. The NUJ members were not given their due respect from those nonentity that occupied the place.

This make me recalled while “Iwe Irohin” was established in 1840s by the missionaries of the Presbyterian Church when they arrived Nigeria. They settled down in an area known as English Town in Calabar. Among these missionaries was Rev. Henry Townsend who later moved to Abeokuta in the 1850s. In Abeokuta, he established a printing press in 1854 which he used, five years later, to publish the first newspaper in Nigeria called “Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Ara Egba Ati Yoruba.”

The first edition of the newspaper came out on November 23, 1859. Later on, the newspaper was published fortnightly (every 15 days) and sold for 120 cowries (Ogofa Owo Eyo, equivalent to a penny). James Ede, who was trained by Henry Townsend, served as the Chief Printer of the newspaper. Iwe Irohin was highly patronized by the few literates of that time living in Egba and the entire Yoruba land. The circulation of the paper was around 3,000 as at that time. Rev. Henry Townsend’s main purpose of setting up the newspaper then was to make the new converts read and write. He himself said: “my objective is to get the people to read and to beget the habit of seeking information by reading.”

If you look at the motive behind the establishment of Iwe Irohin then, you will observe that our generation has trespassed from this objectives by turning the secretariat into a prostitution and drunkard’s den, all because of their greed and avarice. Iwe Irohin further published news of church activities, arrival and departure of religious dignitaries, ordinations and so on. It was later broadened its contents by adding stories about Abeokuta, cotton and coca statistics, and starting from 1960, the newspaper carried advertisement from local firms and government agencies. The newspaper was cautioned by the C.M.S authorities in 1863 for some of its contents that antagonized the colonial government, but this didn’t stop Townsend from running his newspaper.

Now, the core value of establishment of  Iwe Irohin has already faded in the hands of selfish leaders and it is not over until it is all over. Moreover, the essence of journalism is just as simple as A, B, and C, if we can take the bull by the horn, thus is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments. Yes. if we can admit that and act upon that, it will better for you and I. Likewise too, news is a major aspect of our job too, that is; communication that keeps us informed of the changing events, issues and character in the world outside. Once this was all our jobs entails, why not changing ourselves, our secretariat and many others for better. Though, it may be interesting or even entertaining, but foremost value of news (which is our job), is as utility to empower the informed. Now, these questions are demanding for quick response from my colleagues. What are we informing? Who are we informing? When, Where Why are we informing and How are we informing? As the adage says: Charity begins at home! Do we comport ourselves as well? Do we informed well as an informer, as a journalist? With this, let us come together as one entity to move the council forward, it is our collective responsibility to move the council to the greater height.

Now to the NUJ state council of elders in Ogun state which comprises of our former NUJ chairmen, directors, deputy directors in the Ministries of information both at the Federal and state level and other former members of the executive council were too gentle to my taste. What are they doing to let the council backwardness among the comity of council of the federation? You people were the ones we are usually counted on, you have let the council shattered beyond a reasonable and repairable stage. Sirs/Mas, you have a lot to do in redeeming the image of the council; before the national level. Now that another sets of executive members have resumed office in to ran the helm of the affairs of the council, it is better for you Sirs/Mas to reunite everybody in a fold by summon all and sundry, ask them of their grievances and let them register it and for once settle it amicably and lets forge ahead for better future of the council. It is better to do it now or never.

Long Live NUJ Ogun state Council

Long Live Ogun state government

Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria

Orunbon, a journalist and public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abeokuta, Ogun state.

Can be reached via:orunbonibrahimademola@gmail.com or 08034493944, 08029301122

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APPOEMN Boosting Nigeria’s Economy with Annual Contribution of 55bn in GDP

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By Segun Lawal
The Association of Professional Party Organizers and Event Managers of Nigeria (APPOEMN), is set to convene TEIC 2019, a 3-day transformational network of learning and cutting edge exponential conference for members of the association from September 18 to 22 2019.
Addressing the press in Lagos on Sunday September 8, Vice President of the association, Mrs Adefunke Kuyoro disclosed that the theme of this year’s conference, the third in a series, being ‘Stepping Up’; presented an opportunity for event industry practitioners to put their brands ahead if not at par with industry leaders and players in the event space.
“We call all eventprenuers/practitioners to ‘step up’ their game in the industry, because the more excellent our brands become, the better our event industry in Nigeria; be you a vendor, planner, venue owner, service provider in the event industry. It is time to step it up for good.” Kuyoro posited.
Speaking further about the 3-day conference, Mrs Kuyoro said what informed TEIC (The Event Industry Conference), expected to assemble key professionals from across the country and a spectrum of events service providers, to share experiences, perspectives, insights and latest developments in the events industry, was the desire to mix international growing trends with existing traditions.
According to her, “events have always been a part of our culture, but in the recent past it has received a sudden boost, apparent by the increase in coverage received from the print and social media.”
“The 3-day conference is drawn up to provide technical sessions and poster sessions on cutting edge issues related to the event industry, and will also provide ample opportunities for networking and socializing with colleagues.” Kuyoro averred.
TEIC 2019 is expected to kick off on the 18th of September with a Masterclass scheduled for 250 participants, where evolving issues and trends in the industry will be learnt, culminating in a bonding after-party  in what can best be called “Senior Lit of a lifetime”
Day 2 of the event will be devoted to Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR by way of easing motorists’ driveway through Lagos Island and mainland in a give back approach to law-abiding Lagosians.
To that extent the association has partnered with the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) to coordinate traffic in heavy-traffic-prone areas in super hyper traffic time between the hours of 7am-9am, with 350 members of the association expected to take part in the exercise. Next on Day 2 agenda will be a yardsale (a kind of compensation plan) to the industry where various valuable items will be circulated especially to new entrants, to boost their brand equity in the trendy event market space at giveaway rates.
The icing on the cake in regard to TEIC 2019, is its culmination on the last day of the event with a dinner and award night, where up to 500 guests are expected to attend the TEIC Award for the year, as the best practitioners in diverse categories of the industry will be appreciated.
Speaking to SMILE on the criteria adopted for the award, Mrs Kuyoro said nominations were done by members of the association on the different categories with 5 to 6 nominees in each category, while voting was done online to produce the list of recipients for the final awards, all in strict compliance to the best ethos.
With respect to some challenges in the industry cutting across relevant training, optimum service delivery, trust and abuse issues etc., Mrs Kuyoro told SMILE that APPOEMN has over the years been able to set the standard for operation in the industry which has made the association a credible force, saying the association is not just an all-comers affair, as prospective members are observed for up to two years before being registered in the organisation,  while penalties which include suspension or dismissal, depending on the degree of rules infringement are also meted to erring members, all in a bid to make the industry attain and maintain standard global practices, assuring that such erring members would at the end of their penalty also have to reapply again, if qualified to. Training opportunities she added were also being constantly offered to members to ensure best practices.
APPOEMN is an association with a mix of seasoned events professionals that have been at the forefront of event planning and coordination in Nigeria, for the past 15 years. The association has risen to become a major player in the socio-economic space in the Nigerian polity contributing 55bn to the country’s GDP in budgets, appreciatively deflating the country’s unemployment balloon.
The Event Industry Conference (TEIC) is an annual event of APPOEMN and this year’s would be the third edition of the event.
Tickets to attend the event can be obtained via www.teic.live or 08033053529, 08033728555 while interested event practitioners can also join the association by sending such requests to  appoemnnigeria@gmail.com
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Why Are You Afraid Of Party Congress? – Amaechi Replies Abe

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Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, and second term Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has queried why the immediate past senator representing Rivers South-East, Sen. Magnus Abe has started showing early signs of apprehension for the forthcoming congresses of the APC in Rivers State.

The minister was reacting to a statement in which the former senator kicked against the holding of congresses of APC in Rivers State. In that statement, Abe resorted to name calling and uncouth language to describe the planned congresses announced by the Minister to his supporters.

It would be recalled that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had announced to his supporters during the reception in Abuja that followed his inauguration as a second term minister that they (supporters) should begin to prepare themselves for congresses as part of rebuilding and repositioning the party in Rivers State. However, a few days after, Sen. Abe, while addressing his supporters in Port Harcourt, in an inexplicable outburst of emotions, questioned why the minister should ask his supporters to go home and prepare for congresses.

However, in a swift reaction, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi expressed surprise that Abe would resort to unguarded language to express his indisposition and fear for congresses even when he (Amaechi) did not give date and time of congresses to his supporters.

“I addressed my supporters to go home and prepare for congresses, I didn’t give them any date and time, and those are the responsibility of the national secretariat.

“Senator Magnus Abe has no reason to be afraid of congress; he should tell his supporters to also prepare for congresses of the party in the State since he says he is very popular. A popular politician should be very happy anytime congress is on the table,” Amaechi declared.

The Minister declined to respond to sundry comments made by Abe in his statement saying such were obvious signs of frustration on the part of the former senator.

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Amaechi Promises Better Times For Staff

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Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has declared free transportation services for staff and management of the ministry.

Amaechi said the decision was to help ameliorate the challenges faced by the staff in the discharge of their civic duties.

The Minister stated this at an interactive session with staff and management of the ministry, Monday.

Amaechi said, “knowing the background I come from, I felt that you people are spending more money having to transport yourselves to work and I’m surprised that they are collecting money from you for those buses.”

Directing the Permanent Secretary to ensure the bus services are free of charge henceforth, he added, “We’ll increase the number of of staff buses, fuel and maintain them ourselves.” Amaechi further assured that to improve on service delivery, training and retraining of staff personnel will be given top priority.”We would devise a means of training and retraining our staff, be it locally or internationally; and it will be according to our resources,” he said.

Amaechi also directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary to liaise with authorities of NYSC to post some doctors to the  Ministry of Transportation in view of establishing a medical center for staff of the ministry.

“Let us get the NYSC to post to the ministry at least two doctors, so we can ascertain the cost of establishing a clinic for our staff. This will enable those who fall ill to get free treatment,” he said.

The Minister also noted that henceforth, provision of laptops for Engineers will be included in the ministry’s budget.

In her remarks, Minister for State, Transport, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki assured workers of smooth working relationship, stating that she would work together with Amaechi to improve on staff welfare. “Whatever the Minister (Amaechi) had been doing I will follow suit, I will always be behind him and I will do my best to always ensure that we do what will promote staff welfare,” she said.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari said the essence of the interactive session was to have a better understanding with the Ministers.

He enjoined the staff to provide support to the Ministers to achieve the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

According to him, “the purpose of this interactive session is to have a better understanding with the Ministers. It is an opportunity for us to air our views and understand what they (Ministers) want us to do in this second term of Mr. President. It is our hope that as we gave our support to the Hon. Minister of Transportation during the first tenure, we’ll give even more this second term.”

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