… NUJ hails Ugwuanyi’s action
ENUGU State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has expressed shock on the demolition of the perimeter fence of the Press Centre, along Rangers Ave. Independence Layout, Enugu.
Speaking to newsmen, the state Council Chairman, Rex Arum, stated that the unanticipated demolition on Monday despite appeals made by the council for amicable resolution of the issue at stake was a betrayal of trust.
Arum said that the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) had marked the frontal perimeter fence for demolition on the ground that the fence was few meters beyond the town planning stipulation.
“We tried to negotiate with the state government on how to resolve the issue so that no party would suffer unduly.
“We even presented some official land documents to back up our claims but the state government suddenly sent an earth -moving equipment and demolished the fence.”
On the relationship between the state council of the NUJ and the state government, Arum said, “there is nothing special about the relationship between the NUJ and the state government. State governors are supposed to be the grand patrons of the NUJ in their respective states.
“We have severally appealed to the state government for the renovation of the Unity Hall in the Press Centre but what we got was a demolition.
“If the state government had acceded to our appeal for the renovation in order to give the centre a face lift, perhaps, it would have taken care of the issues with the perimeter fence,” he said.
Arum further described the action of the state government as an `affront’ on the media.
“The media have been working toward the progress of the state but what we got in return was demolition,” according to him.
The Press Center is the oldest in the Southeast, donated to the defunct East Central Journalists Union by the then Administrator, East Central States, Dr. Ukpabi Asika in 1971.
Meanwhile, members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Enugu State have commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the state government’s intervention in restoring the original master plan of the state Press Centre.
Addressing a press conference in Enugu, on Tuesday, the Caretaker Committee of NUJ in the state, led by Sir Emeka Anyalebechi, lamented the previous and present administrations of the state union’s distortion of the Press Centre.
Anyalebechi said that the council had been served several notices of violation, noting that in fairness to the state agency, it did not remove the gate of the Press Centre that is properly located at the approved location of the fence.
“We commend the state government for its boldness in restoring the Enugu master plan, no matter whose ox is gored. We appeal to the state government to restore the original master plan of the Press Centre and demolish all illegal structures within the area,” Anyalebechi stated.
The union also passed a vote of no confidence on the National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo for orchestrating crises in the council and attacking the state agency for sanitizing the press centre.
“We call on the police and ant-graft agencies to investigate the NUJ National President, Chris Isiguzo, for fraudulent use of his position to sell portions of the Enugu NUJ Press Centre.