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Two factions have emerged in the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Delta State Council.

One of the factions is the Redemption Team ably led by the immediate past State Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu.

The other is the Prize Team led by Comrade Churchill Oyowe, a former Secretary of the union.

Consequently, the Delta State Council of the NUJ now has two parallel Caretaker Committees, the one led by Comrade Sonia Unobunjo as chairman and the other headed by Comrade Gilbert Olie.

The two factions emerged on Thursday at a failed election into the state council of the union which held at the St. Patrick’s College in Asaba.

A former Chairman of the NUJ Warri Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade Akpokona Omafuaire in a chat with Our Correspondent in Warri confirmed the emergence of the two factions within the union.

The journalist cum lawyer, however, said the National Secretariat should fashion out a way that will lead to an amicable resolution of the crisis with a view to fixing a date for the election in no distant time.

RealTime24 gathered that the unwholesome attitude of the South-South Zone F leadership of the union that was represented by Mr Bassey Eyoh, contributed to the emergence of the two factions on Thursday.

It was learnt that Mr Eyoh came to the election venue and played a purported recorded audio conversation allegedly between him and the National Secretary stating a deviation from the requirement for voting contrary to a letter sent by the NUJ national secretariat mandating him to conduct the election with NUJ ID card.

Shortly after that, the National Secretary called back live following protests from the majority of members who were at the venue.

The National Secretary on phone directed Mr. Eyoh, who was perceived by some members to have allegedly been induced to conduct the election without the use of the NUJ identity cards contrary to a letter from the national secretariat on the use of NUJ identity card for voting in the election.

Why the factions –

Members of the Redemption Team were in support of the use of the NUJ identity cards for the conduct of the election.

But, members of the Prize Team, who seemed to have allegedly imported mechanics, market women, IT students and other artisans into the election venue, kicked against it when the NUJ national secretariat directed Mr Bassey Eyoh to conduct the election with the NUJ identity card.

Immediately, some contestants of the Prize Team destroyed the plastic tables that were supposed to be used as part of election materials in the presence of men of the Police and DSS deployed to the venue; while members of the Redemption Team and their teeming supporters stood at the corner and watched the drama as it unfolded.

Some members of the union were taken aback when men of the DSS and Police stood aloof.

It was reliably gathered that some members of both teams were later invited to the State Police Command, where they signed a peace pact the election is conducted with the use of the NUJ ID card, which is part of measures by the union to weed out quacks in the journalism practice in the state and Nigeria at large.

When they returned from the Police station, instead of allowing members of the Credentials Committee to conduct the election, contestants under the auspices of the Prize Team with their premeditated plans to destruct the election destroyed the plastic tables in the presence of security operatives.

It is now left for members of the union to choose who to cast their votes, giving the violent attitudes displayed by some contestants under the auspices of the Prize Team, who it was alleged wanted to emerge into leadership positions of the union at the election venue by any means.

RealTime24 gathered that the only legal entity and address of the union is the Nigeria Union of Journalist National Secretariat, Abuja, while the Zonal Offices, councils and chapels are appendages.


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