FRESH BREATH FOR EDO NUJ IS A POSSIBILITY WITH FESTUS ALENKHE.
For the last two decades or so, the leadership space in Nigeria Union Of Journalists, Edo State Council, had been dominated by familiar faces across all levers of power.
The levers of power are yet another echelon from which many often emerge to serve without clear intent.
They have become those who always want, the seat of power without commensurate contents.
What has become common act is the laundering, or re-cycling, of same individuals through different processes into nominal offices for many years.
And this ingenious device, had been woven into the fabrics of the Union’s system from its foundation.
Arguably, It was naturally designed to check the impulse of men in the pen profession to elongate their stay in power in perpetuity.
Term limit in our supposed modest Union, however, has become largely redundant loosing its intrinsic values since the person affected can just walk into another office, in a different garb, and set another ball rolling.
For free thinkers and those who desire a positive narrative, this is surely a mockery of the democratic system, but, it is, nonetheless, the reality of life for a lot of members.
Holy Mary! What a way to describe It as classic round-tripping at the expense of all members.
If, ever, there was any such thing as ‘state capture’ by an unproductive and parasitic elite, look no farther than the Edo NUJ Council.
The most egregious examples of round-tripping amongst the elite in this Union, are to be found within the “Executives” paraphernalia.
Let us play the devil’s advocate for a moment.
What about the argument that round-tripping leaders could be a blessing in the sense of their ‘vast experiences’ and longevity being put to good use for the union?
The immediate answer to that is, take a look at the downward spiral of the Unions’ economy and the near collapse of social services in the Secretariat.
The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating.
Besides, do we really need ‘vast experience’ to make a difference in public life; The answer is NO!
What we need is conviction and moral backbone, which is glaringly absent in the round-tripping leaders antecedents for more than a decade.
NUJ, I should believe, was designed to accommodate new entrants; to make contested positions as open as possible and, from time to time, infuse new blood and energy into the hierarchy.
That, fundamentally, throws up the good, and sometimes, the bad, but, it serves the purpose generally well.
But what we have seen over time are merchants creating special purpose vehicles for power. And, with their access to state funds, they are hell-bent on keeping out ‘outsiders’ whose ideas may conflict with their aim of clinging onto the seat of power.
They live in an echo chamber wherein they are content to milk the system for their own self-aggrandisement rather than manage it on behalf of the people.
It is a recipe for disaster, of course, but who cares? They are ensconced in a bubble that breeds inertia, and makes Leadership renewal nigh impossible.
Now the question is, are they a curse to the leadership structure? Without doubt. It is precisely their obduracy, and their lack of imagination that, ironically, threatens the survival of the Unions’economy as a corporate entity.
They are the ones who, unwittingly, would end up killing the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg.
Now, we can collectively flog this people out of power and instill a fresh breath with our votes
With Festus Alenkhe, it is an important opportunity for us to collectively reposition the union and restore the dignity as the 4th Estate of the realm set by our past heroes.
TEAM FESTUS ALENKHE