The South-South Bureau Chief of Voice of Nigeria, VON, Mrs Eme Offiong has been elected chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Cross River State.
Vanguard learnt that this was the first time since the inception of the Chapel over 40 years ago to produce a female Journalists as its Chairman.
The election which came to a close at the Ernest Etim Bassey NUJ Press Centre State Housing, Calabar when the former exco led by Judex Okoro of the SUN newspapers completed a two term tenure of six years produced a new exco that will pilot the affairs of the Chapel for three years.
Offiong who was the treasurer of the chapel in the last Exco led by Judex Okoro of the SUN newspapers, was the most favourite according to Alhaji Rasheed Olanrewaju of the AIT, Idongesit Inyang of The Pioneer Newspapers amongst others when she garnered overwhelming votes.
In her acceptance speech, Offiong appealed for cooperation and support from her colleagues, assuring that she would consolidate on the achievements made by her predecessor in further building synergy and moving the Chapel to the next level .
Her words: We are willing, able and ready to serve you all but I strongly solicit for your supports at all times and cooperation. I accept that at certain times we can disagree; we have to do so in the spirit of love. We need to work in unity in order to collectively move ourselves,the chapel forward and the profession to the next level .
“There would be more training for our members in a bid to make sure that we learn new skills in news reportage and other aspect of journalism ,no one would be left behind as the new exco is poised to ensure that we practise in the most conducive atmosphere ,” she said .
Earlier, Mazi Judex Okoro recalled the achievements of his exco and thanked God for the heights he and his members had taken the chapel.
He said he ensured that the chapel did not owe anyone, and that his exco ensured that members who were in need benefited from credit facility and other form of welfare packages.
Okoro re-echoed the need to extend the supports he enjoyed to his successor while charging her and the new exco to surpass his feats and bring sweetness to the chapel and Union.
Chairman of the Credentials Committee was Mr Benson Ezugwu of the News Agency of Nigeria NAN, Others were Michael Akpang of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, and Friday Nwagbara of the Tide newspaper.
“We followed the constitution of the NUJ strictly and ensured that only qualified, recognised and practising journalists were cleared to stand the election and to vote.”
“We also want to make sure that quckery was completed eliminated from our Council ,hence we left no stone unturned in ensuring that only qualifed journalists stood for the election and voted also,” he said.
Representing the state chairman of the council, Com. Victor Udu, the council Secretary, Comrade Oka Ibor commended the credentials committee for the professional and peaceful conduct of the election and swore in the new exco.
Other officials are Mr Joseph Kingston of the Blueprint newspaper, Vice Chairman, Richard Ndoma of Leadership Newspapers, as secretary, George Odok of NAN, treasurer and Ike Uchechukwu of Vanguard Newspapers as financial secretary.