By Seyifunmi Odunuga
Southwest Young Journalists (SYJ) on Friday described a former governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola as a shameless leader for receiving controversial award of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ibadan.
The group said receiving the award without the presence of the NUJ chairmen in the region shows the despration of the former governor.
The group in a statement by its chairman, Kunle Kalejaye in Ibadan on Friday said the Mastermind of the award, Cosmas Olalekan Oni has been removed as the VP B-zone of the union.
Recall that the union at its zonal meeting of 12th March, 2021, had agreed to put the proposed Investiture on hold following the leadership crisis in the zone which has been refferd to the National Executive Council of the Union.
According to the information, those who were to be honoured alongside Aregbesola includes Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Makama among others but the union agreed to postpone the award ceremony pending the resolution of NEC on the issue and other sundry issues within the zone.
But against this decision, a flier suddenly surfaced on the social media, purportedly endorsed by Bamigbola Gbolagunte, who claimed to be Acting Vice-president and later Zonal Secretary of the zone, saying the event has been slated for 25th March, 2021, at NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, the capital of Oyo State.
While scores of political associates of the former Osun State Governor have been celebrating the proposed investiture on different social media platforms, the six states that constitute the zonal wing of the union in the South West have unanimously distanced self from such event.
On this note, the young journalists asked Aregbesola to apologise to journalists in the region for violating their directives, saying the award is fake.
“We the southwest young journalists frown at the violation of the directives of our esteem leaders in the south zone of the NUJ. Just last night, our chairmen in the zone advise Aregbesola not to attend the award ceremony because it was organised by fake zonal leaders. The Mastermind of the award is no more a member of NUJ have retired since last year August.
“Owing to this, our Chairmen met and advised the organisers to put it on hold but to our amazement, a Minister and former governor, Rauf Aregbesola attended the ceremony.
“It is clear that Aregbesola is a despirate leader. What has he done for NUJ before now? Doe he have any track record of good governance? We want to challenge him to bring forth his track record in NUJ both as governor and Minister.
“We advise our council chairmen to challenge the authenticity of the award in court and withdraw it from Aregbesola as soon as possible.”