by crossriverwatch admin
The Cross River State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ has denied reports by CrossRiverWatch that they endorsed Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba for a record fourth term.
CrossRiverWatch in on January 18th reported that the State Council of the Union has endorsed Senator Egba for a fourth term following proceedings from a session of a press briefing by the senate leader at the press center in Calabar.
During the session, after eulogizing the Senate Leader who has been patron of the Union for 30years, and reeling his achievements in the red chamber over the years, the State Chairman of the Union, Pastor Ndoma Akpet said the Senate Leader qualifies for reelection.
Responding, the Senate Leader asked the congregation that “As your patron, is it true that you have asked me to seek re-election to the Senate?
“You did not even ask me, you are directing me to seek re-election” and the congregation of the Union gave a resounding response of “YES WE DO, WHY NOT, IF NOT YOU WHO AGAIN?”
But in a strongly worded statement, signed by the Pastor Akpet, the Union accused CrossRiverWatch of ‘ulterior motive’ with a view to scoring a political point.
The statement said: “The attention of the Cross River State Council of NUJ has been drawn to a report published in an online news site: CrossRiverWatch with the headline, “Cross River NUJ Endorses Senator Ndoma Egba For 4th Term.”
“The report is misleading because the Union at whatever level, State or National has no business endorsing any politician or aspirant to any office. The report is in no way the official position of the State Council which remains non partisan and committed to professionalism and democratic ideals anchored on the power of the ballot and the voters.
“The state council has always advocated professionalism in the conduct and practice of members and the said report falls short of our professional conduct and practice. Indeed, it smacks of ulterior motive on the side of the reporter and the medium which came with a subjective report on January 28th 2014 of a press briefing which held on December 31st 2013.
“The distinguished Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba who is also one of our esteemed patrons had a press briefing in our press center and also interacted informally with members of the state council during the session which was not a congress of the Union where decisions are taken.
“All the subjects and issues related to the press conference as addressed by the Senate Leader had since been reported in numerous national dailies and even in broadcast media few days after the event. None of the reports which were timely and factual accounts were skewed the way CrossRiverWatch had done three week after.
“NUJ remains non partisan and as much as we had commended the achievements of Senator Ndoma Egba SAN as senator of the Federal Republic, it is not our business to engage in any form of endorsement of any politician or aspirant.
In a reaction by from CrossRiverWatch, the media house said, NUJ Cross River State council as presently constituted lacks the parameters with which to define professionalism.
The Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Comrade Agba Jalingo in an interview with our reporter said: “First, I want to say that, the high powered delegation that represented the NUJ National Chairman in our first year anniversary in Calabar is a clear statement that CrossRiverWatch has a thriving relationship with the NUJ. Having said that, I think it is very uncharitable for anyone for that matter to accuse us of unprofessionalism and of harboring ulterior motives and of skewing our reports in a matter that is very clear.
“I was not in Calabar. I don’t live in Calabar. We got the video clip of the meeting. The meeting was not a gathering of politicians. It was not a gathering of ‘area boys’ or political bootlickers, if I got it right. I suppose it was a gathering of pen pushers. Journalists for that matter! If I had gone on an assignment with Ndoma Akpet to cover a press conference by the Nigeria Medical Association for instance and a politician comes in and in the so called lighter mood, ask the same question Senator Egba asked and all the doctors shout yeaaaa, what will Ndoma Akept report when he gets to the news room? As a journalist, I was long taught that actions speak louder than words.
“In my private discussion with Akpet and in the Union’s release, the Chairman did not deny that they asked the Senate Leader to re-constest. His argument is that, it was on a lighter mood and does not amount to endorsement.
“How do you define endorsement? If he has now come under pressure from where ever quarters to deny an action that actually took place, he cannot do that by deriding or abusing CrossRiverWatch.
“With due respect to my professional colleagues in the NUJ Cross River Council, some of who are CrossRiverWatch stringers, I think the Union as presently constituted lacks the parameters to define professionalism for us”.
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