By Kingsley Agim
October 26, marked the 100th day of the Nsa Gill-led Cross River State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. And it is worthwhile to note some of the many achievements recorded in this short space of time.
Prior to my becoming a member of this great Union, I had heard great stories of mutual bonds and camaraderie that existed. Unfortunately, my experience in the last eight years was a direct opposite of what I was told.
I met a Union that was balkanized by grievances, personal differences and a host of bewildering sentiments. But in the last 100 days, the leadership of the NUJ has given Journalists in the State and beyond glimpse of why Nsa Gill was the most sought after to lead.
These highlights should suffice as the beginning of a greater Cross River NUJ:
The beaming smile: described by Pastor Emmah Isong as “always a man with the best smile,” Comrade Nsa Gill has begun his stint as Chairman of the Cross River State Council of the NUJ on a solid footing, immediately re-igniting the social cohesion that once became elusive. Life has returned to the Union by members’ frequency at the Council Secretariat.
Another thing that highlights the present NUJ administration resolve for making a mark was undertaking repairs of all appliances at the Secretariat like television sets, and ensuring constant subscription of cable satellite for members to stay abreast of topical issues around the globe. The bus had also been put to better state to carry members around in their duties. And most recently, the generating set has also been fixed to enhance power supply.
The 100-day old leadership has also provided a public address system to boost speech clarity during NUJ events. There has been a facelift of the Chairman’s office too.
It is also worthy of note that the Nsa Gill-leadership has become more financially transparent and accountable. Inclusivity has been a major hallmark of this leadership. These unique characteristics have re-awakened in members a proper sense of belonging.
The present administration has interestingly reestablished ties with various stakeholders to encourage goodwill and corporate relationship.
It hosted the first thanksgiving service for a new executive in over a decade, with a grand reception that drew notable personalities to the Press Centre.
The exco is also in advanced stage of preparation to host the first media week in seven years.
Plans are ongoing to host the next NUJ Zonal meeting in November – the first in almost a decade.
The present leadership has led journalists on facility tour of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar.
There are ongoing plans to rejuvenate moribund chapels, and create two more. Backlog of arrears owed Secretariat cleaner has been cleared. While the service of a driver to handle council bus has been hired as well.
With the State NUJ returned to its bubbly state, one could only hope that media practice grows from strength to strength and practitioners assume their right of place as critical stakeholders in nation building.
Congratulations to the Nsa Gill-led Executives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Cross River State Council as you mark your first 100 days in office.
Agim is the Assistant Secretary of the NUJ, Cross River Council