EDO NUJ ELECTION: Festus Alenkhe Releases Manifesto Tagged, New Vision-New Direction.
By Innocent Okoh.
November 25, 2021.
One of the chairmanship candidates in the forthcoming election of the Nigeria union of journalist, nuj, edo state council, FESTUS ALENKHE, has released an eight page manifesto titled, New Vision-New Direction with a Mission theme: “Fresh Breath for Edo NUJ”.
The Manifesto which has a 19 point plan for the Edo NUJ, when elected into office, was release at about 6:58 pm on Thursday, as he said the manifesto will Serves As A Deal With his Journalist Colleagues In Edo State, ahead of the election which comes up on the 17 Dec. 2021.
Among the itemized 19 point plan which he promised to focus on once he assumes office are, training of journalists, free internet service, provision of functional e-library, protection of journalists, nuj toilet maintenance, compendium, facelift for nuj press centre, comprehensive health care, insurance scheme, partnership, infrastructure, financial transparency, collaboration with nawoj/swan, office space for swan, electricity/power supply, security, economic fortune for journalists, awards/recognitions and vehicles/working tools for edo journalists.
According to the Controller (News) and Crime-Watch presenter, Edo Broadcasting Service, Benin City and former Auditor/Assistant Secretary EBS Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, “I have done it in other organizations that I have served meritoriously. For instance, as Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter, Chairman Nigerian Red Cross Society ,Edo State Branch, Chairman, Nigerian Red Cross Society, South-South Zone and many more. If I could do it for others, I will do more for my dearest NUJ”.
“If elected by the Grace of God, we shall set up Advisory and Elders’ council of the Edo NUJ. The council will be made up of veteran journalists and media executives in Edo state.Trust me and I will certainly not betray the confidence you will have in me”.
Excerpt of the manifesto:
Dear colleagues in the Pen World,
I greet you all specially, in the name of the struggle.
My name is Comrade Festus Alenkhe. I am the Controller (News) and Crime-Watch presenter, Edo Broadcasting Service, Benin City and former Auditor/Assistant Secretary EBS Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council.
I hold a National Certificate of Education from the College of Education, Ekiadolor – Benin, Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from New York Film Academy, Bachelor of Arts (BA), International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Benin, Benin City and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (PGDJ) from International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Abuja.
Edo NUJ election is here again, December 2021. This is an important opportunity for us to collectively reposition the union and restore the dignity and integrity as the 4th Estate of the realm.
I have offered myself to be your very loyal and listening Chairman of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists if elected.
It is on this premise that I strongly call for a very peaceful and transparent ‘family election’ where there will be no “Victor, no Vanquished.”
I see myself as coming on board to serve as volunteer to move the union forward. The spirit of voluntarism has been in me from primary school days till date.
I will not engage in campaign of calumny.
Let us campaign on relevant issues and tell the people why we think we should be elected.
I am going to serve as a unifying factor to bridge the gap between our State Council and Edo State Government, Traditional Institution, Corporate Bodies and affluent Individuals.
MY PLANS FOR THE EDO NUJ.
TRAINING OF JOURNALISTS
Training and retraining is critical in every profession. Therefore, during my tenure in office, God willing, journalists will be opened to international media trainings, seminars and conferences. United States of America, Europe , United Arab Emirates and some African countries will always play host to Edo state journalists for training purpose. We shall use our influence and contacts to get relevant government agencies, corporate bodies and affluent Nigerians to collaborate with the Edo state NUJ to make the foreign trainings possible.
We shall also engage notable and experienced media practitioners in Nigeria to train journalists in Edo State in areas of News Reporting, Investigation and other areas of journalism to bring them in tune with the trend in journalism practice.
FREE INTERNET SERVICE
Within 72 hours of my assumption as Chairman of the Edo NUJ, we shall immediately install facilities for free internet services for the use of Edo Journalists. Anyone within the premises of the press center can assess the internet on their phones, laptops or other social media devices at no cost to journalists. Again, It will be free. Two internet providers have been approached and they are very willing to install the facilities 72 hours after our swearing in.
PROVISION OF FUNCTIONAL E-LIBRARY
If elected by the Grace of God, our administration will broker truce between the contracting firm that renovated the library in the NUJ Press Centre and the sponsor which is the University of Benin. I will ensure that Journalists enjoy functional e-library facilities within a short time into my administration.
PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS
An intervention team that will be led by me as chairman will be set up to intervene for journalists who have court cases or any infraction with the Police, VIO, FRSC, PUWO , ESTMA as well as journalists who acquired property that seems to be in dispute. Lawyers and Security personnel who are friends of Edo state journalists will be drafted into the intervention committee.
NUJ TOILET MAINTENENCE
All the toilet facilities in the NUJ press center will be maintained and kept clean always. The one we have now which to me is an “eyesore” does not only require renovation but frequent maintenance. This will bring strong respite to all journalists and visitors at the Press Centre.
Within one year in office as chairman, we shall produce a compendium of all practicing and accredited journalists in Edo State. The compendium shall, among others have the names and pictures of all registered journalists in Edo state.
This move is to check quackery in the journalism profession in Edo State as it will help add value to NUJ electoral system.
FACELIFT FOR NUJ PRESS CENTRE
The physical structure of the NUJ Secretariat in Benin city are in shambles. My administration shall carry out extensive restructuring and thorough renovation of the physical structure and the entire premises of the press centre to a modern centre.
We shall rid the compound of unwanted persons that now pose serious security threat to journalists and their visitors.
COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE
Most of our colleagues have died lately from sudden death and this is a serious concern for all. When I am elected, I will organize periodic free medical checkups for journalists in Edo State. This will begin within the first quarter of my assumption of office as Chairman. Medical experts with modern equipment will be sourced from across the state and beyond to the press center for the medical exercise. Eye check up will be top priority. Once again, it will be free for Journalists working in Edo state.
Health and life insurance is key in the discharge of our duties. We shall put in place Health and Life insurance scheme for journalists in Edo State.
We shall enter into partnership with Government, Agencies, Private and Corporate Institutions for placement of Journalists as Chief Press Secretaries, Media Aides and many other media openings at both local and international levels.
We will embark on the construction of a modern Hotel at the empty land within the press centre through partnership with private investor. There is already a plan and design put up during the tenure of one of the administrations in the Edo State Council. The architectural design has been examined, found to be relevant and worth implementing. This , we shall effectively implement.
My administration will encourage financial transparency and Congress report in the operational activities of the union. We will do this by constituting a standing committee that will work closely with the exco and members of the union. We will also create a transparent template for all internally generated revenue.
COLLABORATION WITH NAWOJ/SWAN
The Edo State Council under my leadership will strongly collaborate with NAWOJ and SWAN. Edo State Sports Journalists will be encouraged to engage on foreign trips to cover International events like Olympics, World Cups, Africa Nations Cup, World Athletic Games e.t.c.
We shall design a programme for our women journalists to empower them to compete favourably with their male counterparts in the profession. e.g. women journalists in EDO state will be exposed to international women Non-Governmental Organizations for international trainings, empowerment programmes and other activities that will enhance their welfare in the course of the profession.
OFFICE SPACE FOR SWAN.
Within a short time in office , a befitting office accomodation in the NUJ press center will be provided for the Edo state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria ( SWAN). They will join the league of NAWOJ and correspondent’s chapel that are now domiciled in the NUJ premises.
We shall liaise with Edo State Government to extend the electricity from Ossiomo Power plant to the Press center as seen in most government institutions e.g. The High Court on Sapele Road, Benin City which was also extended to the Benin Branch Office of the Nigeria Bar Association.
Premises where car batteries are stolen at noon is no longer a safe haven for members. We shall link up with security agencies and CCTV providers, to provide 24 hours security surveillance at the press center. This will be done with my very cordial relationship with the various security agencies in Edo State as Crime Correspondent. We shall also erect a Barb wire fence to complement the CCTV installation around the moat end of the Press Centre and other access routes, up to the fence of the former NNPC office. The move is to prevent intruders from accessing the press center through the moat end of the center.
ECONOMIC FORTUNE FOR JOURNALISTS
Journalists should now be wealth creators rather than looking up to people for help. Edo State Ministry of Wealth Creation in collaboration with Trustfund Microfinance Bank, Agricultural Development Bank, Industrial Development Bank and other notable financial institutions have been offering interest-friendly loans to the people of Edo state for small and medium scale enterprises purpose. There is absolutely no reason why Edo Journalists should not benefit from such programme. It takes a leadership with vision, capacity and compassion to put up strong representation for the people. We shall link up with relevant agencies for such soft loan for Journalists in Edo state.
Also, we shall engage corporate organizations to train journalists on wealth creation and additional legal sources of income.
There shall be periodical awards and recognitions for journalists who have EXCELLED in their jobs.
VEHICLES/WORKING TOOLS FOR EDO JOURNALISTS
We shall seek for more vehicles and other amenities for the union Secretariat. We shall also work towards ensuring that Edo journalists get laptops and other relevant working tools that will enhance effective performance of their jobs.
I have done it in other organizations that I have served meritoriously. For instance, as Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter, Chairman Nigerian Red Cross Society ,Edo State Branch, Chairman, Nigerian Red Cross Society, South-South Zone and many more. If I could do it for others, I will do more for my dearest NUJ.
If elected by the Grace of God, we shall set up Advisory and Elders’ council of the Edo NUJ.
The council will be made up of veteran journalists and media executives in Edo state.
Trust me and I will certainly not betray the confidence you will have in me.