By Daniel Dafe, Abraka
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, has expressed displeasure with Mr. Treasure Otiti, a member of the Union from the Ughelli Correspondents’ Chapel over the contradiction of Chief Kenneth Gbagi’s speech during his visit to the NUJ Press Centre on Wednesday 7th April, 2021.
On his Facebook page, Otiti Treasure had posted thus “New IGP is a thief says Gbagi” and “Okowa is not an industrialist inclined – Gbagi”.
A statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Union, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu and Comrade Patrick Ochei respectively, added: “We want to put on record that Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi’s verbal comments and answers to questions asked by journalists were simple, clear, unambiguous and coherent. He never at any point made mention of the new IGP who was incidentally decorated that same day to assume office. The only person that Gbagi took to task was former Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa whom he said tried to embarrass him like a common criminal over the allegation of stripping some female workers naked.”
According to the statement, “Again, Gbagi never refered to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as not inclined to industry. He eulogized Senator Okowa as one of the iconic politicians the State had ever produced who had performed enormously as Governor,” adding that Okowa that he knew would prefer to hand over the reign of leadership to somebody who is capable of consolidating on the things he has achieved.
“He therefore went further to describe Okowa as a strict administrator who has been able to achieve a lot by being prudent, while describing himself as an industrialist who will on coming on board as Governor easily be able to carry on from where Okowa had stopped,” Delta NUJ said.
Contuing, the Union said: “Those were the statements of Gbagi in line with the posts made by Otiti. He was recorded and those who listened keenly could also attest to these facts.
“The Union now imagines where and at what point were the statements made by Chief Gbagi as credited to him by Otiti.
“We hereby state unequivocally that the Council will not condone such unethical practice henceforth. We take exception to our members coming to NUJ events to exhibit unprofessional conducts, discourage friends of the Union from coming close to us and dampen the moral of those presenting themselves for media scrutiny.
“This warning also goes to every registered practicing journalist in the State to be cautious and mindful of how they allow the public to assess and evaluate them. We will not gag any journalist from reporting any event or any individual, but when such reportage becomes an element of malignity and less of professional standard, we will not hesitate to wield the big stick.”
Furthermore, Delta NUJ assured the general public that at the appropriate time, the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the Union will further investigate this matter with a view to advising the SWC on the proper decision to take.
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