GONGNEWS: Mallam Garba Muhammed, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has stated that he has no special candidate in the forthcoming elections in the Kogi state Council and that he is rather looking out for the best candidates to emerge in the process according to the democratic rights of the members who shall be allowed to express their rights to choose their leaders freely.
In an exclusive telephone interview, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said, “I am not even aware there is going to be election in the Kogi state council. Election matters are strictly issues under the office of the National Secretary of the Union.”
On the issue of supporting any candidate in the election, he said, “I am like a father to all. How can I love one child more than the other? In this or any other election, I have no candidate. I am not in support of any candidate. The best candidate the emerges is the interest of the union. I am in support of the best candidate according to the dictates of democracy.”
The outgoing chairman supported my campaign at our last elections. I know him. Ironically, till this moment he has not told me he is contesting. Even at that, he needs to have let his first term do the campaign for him if he had performed. I could have offered him moral support or even some level of financial support but I would not have gone out of my way to go and campaign for him because those he is contesting against are equally qualified for my support like him.
The President however expressed embarrassment about an alleged rotational arrangement in place in the state. His words, “I read of the rotational thing on facebook. Whoever drew up that concept was not fair to journalism and the union. The best candidate from wherever he comes so long as he is by the NUJ constitution should have been allowed to emerge not a rotational or such other arrangements. We are journalists. We fought for democracy in Nigeria with our pens and our blood so we deserve to practise the best quality of democratic ideals in all levels of our profession. I condemn the rotational concept.”
However, I wish the very best of candidates and all candidates in the election the best. I also wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the fact that I will at all times irrespective of my personal relationship with anyone uphold the Constitution of the NUJ. That is what I swore on oath to uphold and be fair to all manners of my members irrespective of other considerations. That is where I stand on this matter.”