Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State council has described a publication accusing its members of mercantile journalism as fallacious with a call on the authors to be properly guided.
In a statement signed by the Chapel chairman, Mr. Paul Osuyi, and the Secretary, Mr. Dominic Adewole, the Chapel took exception to the allegations of professional misconduct, and challenged the author, one Mr. Olukayode Thomas to produce evidence of those he alleged to have demanded gratification and texted their bank account details.
“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.
“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.
“The chapel is composed of a group of seasoned professional journalists who represent reputable national media organizations, there exist, an in house disciplinary measure against anyone found to have contravened journalism ethics.
“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 need to be educated that Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel like every other Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, is not an all comers affair. It a composed of a group of seasoned professional journalists who represents reputable national media organizations.
“As professionals, we are bound to report issues the way they are. 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.
“The said report was already trending online and even some newspapers had reported it a day before the Vanguard carried it. Therefore, it is wrong for Thomas Olukayode to say that the Vanguard broke the report of the collapsed water tank.” the statement read.