After the delays and intrigues, the Rivers State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) successfully held its election and returned Comrade Stanley Job Stanley as Chairman of the Union.
The election which held on Wednesday, January 19 attracted journalists who came to show support for the two chairmanship candidates: Comrade Stanley Job Stanley and Paul Bazia of Consolidation and Liberation Teams.
At the end Comrade Stanley Job Stanley won the election having polled 150 votes to defeat Paul Bazia who scored 140 votes.
But the task now is for the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Stanley Job Stanley, who was re-elected to rebuild the union.
The results showed that the election was keenly contested especially between the chairmanship and vice chairmanship candidates.
The task however now is for the chairman who was re-elected to rebuild the union and ensure that it succeeds far more than it did during his first term.
He should forgive anyone who offended him and carry everyone along in rebuilding the union.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday before the election was shifted to Wednesday January 19, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said that the NUJ was one big family and had urged journalists to vote according to their conscience.
“At the end of the election there’ll be no victor, no vanquished. The winners should be magnanimous in victory. The losers should adopt the spirit of sportsmanship”.
The Commissioner said that he believed after the election the union would be one big united family which would pursue professional development and excellence.
He also said all the issues which arose before the election were just family misunderstanding and said he was appealing to all parties to let bygones be bygones.
Let’s build the NUJ that all of us could be proud of, the Commissioner said.
Before announcing the results, the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman of NUJ, Mr Opaka Dokubo, appealed to those who contested to accept the outcome of the election.
He had urged them to co-operate with whoever would get the mandate saying the union lost much ground adding that it was time to rebuild.
He said: “We need to understand that at the end of the day it is the Rivers State Council of the NUJ that has won. Indeed it is NUJ as we all know it that is the overall winner of what we have at hand. You may not like your result but you don’t have a reason to dislike the NUJ” and appealed to the contestants to forgive and heal.
The South-South Zonal Vice Chairman urged journalists to rally round one another and give support and assistance and co-operation to one another to move the union forward.
But before announcing the results he had thanked every journalist for the co-operation and understanding and sacrifice.
He said that no one lost in the election saying that every journalist was a winner and said he was giving kudos to every journalist for rising “above the challenges that would have really, really consumed us”.
The South-South Zonal Vice Chairman said that journalists were the architect of the problem but noted that they had won against themselves.
In announcing the results, the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman of NUJ declared Comrade Stanley Job Stanley as elected Chairman of the NUJ having polled 150 votes to defeat Paul Bazia who scored 140 votes.
Other results showed that while Okechukwu Maru scored 145 votes to be declared as winner in Vice Chairmanship race Walson Ibim had scored 140 votes to lose victory.
Other results also showed that Ike Wigodo (Secretary) scored 169 votes while his rival Obiandu Madume scored 119 votes. Esther Obialor (Assistant Secretary) scored 191 votes while Lilybox scored 94 votes and for Auditor, Ominini Leslie Wokoma scored 160 votes to defeat Tonye Orabere who scored 125 votes.
For Treasurer, Doris Tams Morrison scored 152 votes while Ifeoma Ossai scored 132 votes and Fubara Miebaka had scored 149 votes to defeat Martins Giadom who scored 134 votes in the Financial Secretary race.
The Chairman of the NUJ of the Rivers State Council, Comrade Stanley Job Stanley, was sworn in immediately after the election by the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman and was given his Certificate of Return.
Other members of the exco including the Vice Chairman were sworn in by the Chairman of the Union, Comrade Stanley Job Stanley, and received their Certificates of Return.
The Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Stanley Job Stanley, said in his remarks after his victory that he was grateful for the level of support and promised to improve on the areas that he had not done well during his first term.
“I want to assure you that those areas in our first term that we didn’t do well we are going to improve on them. I want to also say that we are going to continue to take the issue of welfare serious”.
The Chairman said that he would renovate the NUJ Complex in line with observation made by journalists.
He also said: “I want to thank journalists in Rivers State. Now that we have won election, I don’t want to refer to any group. It’s journalists. There’s no Consolidation. There’s no Liberation”.
He said that no one won or lost in the election and said he was going to call on the other chairmanship candidate, Paul Bazia, and his team for ideas they may have to move the union forward.
The Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Newspaper Publishers’ Association (RIVPA), Pastor Jerry Needam, had signed a statement on behalf of other Publishers congratulating the new executive of the union.
In the statement, the Association said: “We wish to congratulate and felicitate with the newly elected state executive council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State led by Comrade Stanley Job Stanley.
“On behalf of all the private media operating in the state and their editorial staff, we share in the infectious joy and wide celebrations that greeted the emergence of the New Exco after four failed previous attempts to get the election process underway”.
“Our immense gratitude goes to the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, and former State Chairman of the Council, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, whose timely intervention to broker peace between the warring factions helped the process to succeed.
“It must however be pointed out that in the election there were no real winners or losers. The only winner is the NUJ Rivers State Council”.
The Newspaper Publishers’ Association advised that all differences and “seeming bad blood generated during the initial stage of the election process be put behind” and build a new relationship rooted in brotherhood, one profession and one union.
The National President of Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Sir Honour Sirawoo, described the election process as very transparent and orderly saying that he was impressed.
There were wild celebrations as a result of their victory. With the swearing-in done the rebuilding process should begin immediately.