Delta Online Publishers Forum, (DOPF), a registered and certified body of online newspaper publishers, has decried the greed showcased in the handling of the N25 million support given to newspaper publishers and Journalists in Delta State by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The Forum has therefore passed a vote of no confidence in the Comrade Mike Ikeogwu-led Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ over its various greed, lack of transparency and accountability as displayed in the disbursement of the support.
Recall that the State Governor during the inauguration of the New Government House Press Centre cum Media chat on March 13, 2023, expressed appreciation to the press, especially acknowledging the role of the media in promoting government policies and programmes, in appreciation honored Newspaper publishers and journalists in the state with the Money.
This, though came as a surprise package, however, journalists were happy, especially with the cash crunch situation which currently is affecting the nation, but their joy was later cut short as the fund was corruptly appropriated by the Delta State Council of NUJ that warehoused the fund.
Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF as a body was invited to the programme like any other body, including the NUJ Delta State Council through the office of the Public Relations Officer, Government House, Asaba. This has been the tradition between us and the State Government in the event of any activity that will require us to attend, like in other times, we attended in our numbers.
Right after the media chat, there was tension, and apprehension about what will happen to the money, considering the antecedent of the current leadership of the NUJ Delta State Council whenever money is given together, and as usual, they didn’t disappoint us, as they allowed their GREED to take a better part of the sharing formula.
We discovered that the NUJ Delta State Council, after much delay from 13 March 2023 to March 22, 2023, released a sharing structure thus: The correspondents Asaba were given N3.2 million; Warri Correspondents, N2.2 million; Indigenous Correspondents; N750,000.00; Ughelli Chapel, N750,000.00; Sapele Chapel, N400,000.00; Association of Community Newspapers of Nigeria, N300,000.00 and DOPF N300, 000.00.
This we consider belittling and insulting to DOPF and its members.
We discovered that NUJ Delta State Council didn’t disburse up to N10m from the Governor’s gift to Chapels and other groups; hence we have rejected the money and sent it back to the NUJ Delta State Council, through the Chairman, Mr Mike Ikeogwu.
Our Executive Council and Board of Trustees after extensive deliberation, passed a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE on Comrade Mike Ikeogwu-led NUJ Delta State Council and have also directed our members to henceforth shun Delta Government briefings, press releases and other media related activities, until this anomaly is addressed.
However, we hereby place on record categorically, our sincere and profound gratitude, to His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, for his legendary generousity and magnanimity to the Publishers and Journalists in the state over the years, and especially with this latest largess, he voluntarily released to ease the burdens imposed on Nigerians, by the on-going Naira redesign/cash swap fiasco.
March 29, 2023.
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