The Joint Union in the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) made up of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Radio Television and Thearter Workers Union (RATTAWU) and Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has called on their members and the general public to disregard a story titled “Rumble at NAN: Staff kick over move to replace Igbo with Northerner as Editor-in-Chief” published on an online platform.
The Joint Union also called on their members and members of the general public to disregard another write up titled “That fake report on who becomes NAN Editor-in-Chief” by one Mr Haruna G. Suleiman who claimed to be leader of Almagamated Union of public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE) in NAN.
Comrade Collins Yakubu-Hammer, the Acting Chairman of NUJ NAN Chapel and also the Secretary of the Joint Union in NAN in a statement on Saturday in Abuja said the story titled “Rumble at NAN: Staff kick over move to replace Igbo with Northerner as Editor-in-Chief” was fake, divisive, inciting, misleading, devoid of ethical professionalism and a disgrace to journalism.
According to him, the story was a fragment of the writer’s imagination that is meant to disrupt and destabilise the peace, harmony and unity among the staff in the Agency who have always profess their belief and allegiance to the Federal Government and one indivisible Nigeria.
“That story is tantamount to treason, thus, we call on the Managing Director of NAN, Executive Chaiman of Federal Character Commission and Attorney General of the Federaration to jointly file a law suit against both the writer and media outfit that published the story.
“This is because the writer is trying to instigate a bloody tribal war in the Agency. Even though the story was badly written with bias and unprofessionalistic touch of journalism, the writer should not be allowed to go unpunished.
“NAN is a family that do not tolerate or promote any form of tribal, religious or ethnocentric agenda. We consider all the staff in NAN as Nigerians with equal rights and privileges.
“I want to state categorically that NUJ, RATTAWU and SSASCGOC in NAN condemn the story in it entirety and disassociate ourselves from such a myopic and unprofessional write up.
“The authentic position of the matter is that the joint Union met with the Managing Director of the NAN, Mr Buki Ponle last month on a petition sent to us by a staff who felt aggrieved on the recent promotion in the Agency.
“The Managing Director told the joint union that same petition was already before the Honorable Minister of Information and Culture and thus he would not be able to say or do something that could undermine the powers of the Minister. He then advised the union to hold on for response from the Minister.
“However, we call on the MD of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle to be resolute in moving the Agency forward. He should not allow the fake and myopic story by unpatriotic elements and agents of destabilisation to prevent him from doing the needful to enhance the welfare and condition of service for staff of the Agency.
“We also appeal to the MD to fast track the modalities of expanding the editorial department to enhance career progression of staff in the department,” Yakubu-Hammer said.
On another story titled “That fake report on who becomes NAN Editor-in-chief”, written by Suleiman, Yakubu-Hammer described the story as an unfortunate fiction filled with unnecessary permutations to deceive the general public that the writer was involve in the joint union struggle on the matter with an insidious intention to claim an unmerited glory either by hook or crook.
Explaining further, Yakubu-Hammer said that from when the petition was sent to the Joint Union including AUPCTRE in the NAN by the aggrieved staff, Mr Suleiman told NUJ, RATTAWU and SSASCGOC in the Agency that he and members of AUPCTRE in NAN are not part of the joint union struggle on the matter.
“Therefore, Suleiman, who is currently on secondment to another agency has no legal or moral right to write or say anything on the matter publicly. In fact, it is shameful that after he and AUPCTRE opted out, he is now coming to claim a position and talk on the same matter. Why is he talking on the matter now? ” Yakubu-Hammer asked.
Yakubu-Hammer called on Suleiman, who use to be AUPCTRE Chairman in NAN before going on secondment to stop talking on a matter that does not concern him.
“Someone on secondment cannot be the Chairman of a joint union or a union in an Agency that he or she has left. It is unheard of and tantamount to impersonation.
“I hereby called on all staff in the Agency and general public to disregard any view or write up by Suleiman concerning the joint union in the Agency on the recent promotion, petition against same and any other (union) matter in the Agency.
“He is currently on secondment and should concentrate on his new place of work and stop poke nosing into the activities of the joint union in NAN. He should also allow other Executives of AUPCTRE in NAN to pilot the affairs of its members.
“However, the Joint Union in NAN will continue to maintain industrial harmony in the Agency, struggle for justice and better welfare for its members regardless of tribal, regional, religious or political affiliation,” Yakubu-Hammer said.