By Ifeizu Joe
Members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State chapter has petitioned the Anambra Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over accusation against a journalist, for allegedly bringing explosives into the commission’s premises, during the just concluded election.
In the petition signed by Chief Chuks Ilozue and Mrs Tochukwu Ifejika, the chairman and secretary of Correspondents’ Chapel respectively, the journalists accused the PRO of INEC, Dr Kingsley Agu of leveling the accusation against it’s member, Mr Cajethan Mmuta of This Nigeria Newspaper.
The union also stated that Agu has severally reported journalists to their offices for reports that were deemed to be unfavourable to him.
THE RAZOR gathered that just one day after the petition was submitted to the REC, Agu has been reaching out to some journalists, demanding for their account numbers and paying N5,000 each to them.
A journalist who is a beneficiary said the money is suspected to be stipend released by the commission during a press briefing, which Agu kept to himself, but Only decided to release it two months after, because he got winds of the petition.
Below is the petition…
ENDANGERING EXISTING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE CORRESPONDENTS’ CHAPEL OF NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) ANAMBRA STATE COUNCIL AND INEC BY DR KINGSLEY AGU, PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, INEC ANAMBRA STATE
We the members of the afore mentioned union have resolved to officially communicate you in your capacity as the head of growing incidences capable of endangering the existing working relationship between our members and INEC as occasioned by the conducts of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of INEC Anambra state, Dr Kingsley Agu.
We write to intimate with the unwholesome and repulsive attitude of your Public Relations Officer, Dr Kingsley AGU to journalists in Anambra State, especially members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ), Anambra State council.
To begin with, in the just concluded 2023 general elections, Dr AGU unleashed the security operatives stationed at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Awka against Journalists with special mention of Mr Cajetan Mmuta, the Bureau Chief of This Nigeria newspaper during which Agu openly told the security operatives that they should be watchful of Journalists entering the commission as they equally could bring in Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) into INEC.
Considering the weighty nature of the unguided outburst by Agu, Mmuta wrote official compliant to you, but regrettably nothing has been hear from you over such immodest attack on not only the image of media professional, but on the corporate identity of Journalists.
However, our concern swell due to several other reports by members during our March 2023 monthly meeting that Agu had at different times reported our members mala fide to their offices , an act that has threatened and is still threatening the employments of our colleagues.
The above scenario is not, many of order compliants from other respected colleagues on how Dr Agu had talked down on them and insulted them using unprintable words including threatening to issue queries to Journalists and transfer them out of Awka.
We therefore resolved do this petition believing that you call Dr Agu to order to avert an avoidable rift that might erupt between our members and your easteem organisation.
As you are fully aware,, the public relations department of any organisation is the mouth piece as well as the mirror of any organisation with the public.
As professionals in the media, we do not want to harbour the feeling that Agu is doing the bidding of INEC in Awka hence the presumed ignominy to Mmuta’s petition dated March 16, 2023 and a copy attached herewith.
We therefore crave your indulgence to call Dr Agu to order, if he must continue to man the public relations office of the Commission in Anambra as not acting in this direction might obviously pose grave danger to the media in the state.