Re-CAA ASABA 2018: DELTA’S DIRTY POLITICS AND THE 2019 ELECTIONS
The attention of Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State council has been drawn to a publication in The Pointer newspaper of Wednesday August 22, 2018, where one Olukayode Thomas erroneously linked members of the chapel to alleged unprofessional conduct during the recently concluded Africa Senior Athletics Championship tagged Asaba 2018.
In the said publication, Mr. Thomas made futile attempts to do a damage control following the obvious lack of organisation management during the five-day championship. In his attempt to satisfy his pay masters, Thomas claimed that correspondents who got accreditation later demanded for accommodation, brown envelope and transport subsidy, and also texted him their bank account details.
It is sad that Thomas who claimed to be a two-time CNN African Journalist of the Year Award winner could condescend so low to satisfy his sponsors to the extent of dragging the names of Delta State correspondents into the murky waters of Delta State politics.
Besides, we expect that as a media professional of so many years, Thomas should know that a competition of the magnitude of CAA Asaba 2018 is not covered by state correspondents alone, and therefore should have been specific on the category of media practitioners who pestered him for gratification.
We, the Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel of Delta State NUJ take exception to these allegations of professional misconduct, and challenge him to produce evidence of those he alleged to have demanded gratification and texted their bank account details.
As a matter of fact, journalists the world over, are independent minded professionals, which we expect the CNN award winner and Head (Media and Publicity) of CAA Asaba 2018 to know and be properly guided as such.
Lest we forget that before The Pointer publication of August 22, the said report credited to Mr. Thomas had been widely circulated in different social media handles, where he also claimed that a member of the chapel, Festus Ahon of Vanguard, told him (Thomas) that he broke the news of the water tank collapse “because LOC did not settle him.”
We view this allegation as another attempt to smear the reputation of members of Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel, and totally disagree with Thomas on these weighty claims. As professionals, we are bound to report issues the way they are.
Thomas needs to be educated that Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel like every other Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, is not an all comers affair. It is composed of a group of seasoned professional journalists who represent reputable national media organizations.
Furthermore, it should be noted that there an in house disciplinary measure against anyone found to have contravene journalism ethics.
Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel
Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel