By Chimezie Godfrey
The Joint Union in the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) made up of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Radio Television and Theater Workers Union (RATTAWU) and Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has called on 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 by an online platform.
The Joint Union also called on its members and the public to disregard another write up titled “That fake report on who becomes NAN Editor-in-Chief”.
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 figment of the writer’s imagination, meant to disrupt and destabilise the peace, harmony and unity among the staff in the Agency who have always professed their belief and allegiance to the Federal Government and one indivisible Nigeria.
He said, “NAN is a family that does 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. We are for justice, equity and fairness.
“I want to state categorically that NUJ, RATTAWU and SSASCGOC in NAN condemn the story in it entirety and dissociate ourselves from such a myopic and unprofessional write up.
“The authentic position of the matter is that the Joint Union in seeking clarification 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, Alhaji Lai Mohammed 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. That is the level we are now.
“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 and others to enhance career progression of staff in the Agency,” Yakubu-Hammer said.
On another story titled “That fake report on who becomes NAN Editor-in-chief”, Yakubu-Hammer described the story as an unfortunate fiction filled with unnecessary permutations to deceive the general public that the writer was involved in the Joint Union struggle on the matter with an insidious intention to claim an unmerited glory either by hook or crook.