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Abia NUJ demands removal of Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary

By Kalu Oko, Umuahia on 11/03/2017

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•Abia Governor’s CPS Enyinnaya Appolos.
•Abia Governor’s CPS Enyinnaya Appolos.

All appears not to be well between the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia State Council, and the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of the state, Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, as the Council has raised a petition asking the governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to redeploy the CPS and recruit a seasoned Journalist to man the position.

Entitled: “Petition Against Your Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Over His Antagonism, Impudence And Contemptuous Treatment Of Abia NUJ Leadership And Its Members,” the council accused the CPS of courting enmity in the media for the administration “through his unguarded utterances, poor human relations, impudence and unbridled arrogance.”

The petition dated February 16, 2017 and endorsed by the Council Chairman, Comrade John Emejor, the Secretary, Comrade Uche Arungwa as well as Chairmen and Secretaries of State Information, Correspondents, Pacesetter FM and Broadcasting Corporation (BCA) chapels, stated that the Council resolved at its congress that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu should redeploy Appolos and engage a better experienced hand as his CPS.

Below is the text of the four-page petition which was copied to top government officials, including the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Eme Okoro and Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai:

 “The Council, at its February Congress, received a formal complaint about the derogatory and provocative statements made by your Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, against the leadership of the Council and members.

“We have observed with utter disappointment, that since his appointment as CPS, Mr. Appolos has  been courting enmity in the media for your administration through his unguarded utterances, poor human relations, impudence and unbridled arrogance which is unbecoming of his office as the chief image maker of a governor.

“At the Congress, Appolos was reported to have thrown caution to the winds when he openly, and without restraint, hauled insolence at the Council when its leadership visited him to inquire if Your Excellency had graciously approved the Council's earlier request for financial assistance in the payment of the annual rent of its temporary secretariat located at No.1 Aba Road, Umuahia.

“Our dear Governor, it is noteworthy to state that the State Government has been fulfilling this responsibility since the creation of Abia as the Council is yet to have its permanent secretariat. Unfortunately, Abia NUJ remains the only state Council in Nigeria that still operates from a rented secretariat.

“The CPS rascally and disdainfully told our leadership that even though past administrations had assisted the Council in that regard, your administration was not interested to continue with the practice. He further said that NUJ is not a parastatal of government, hence this administration owes no obligation whatsoever to the Council and its members.

“The CPS also demonstrated his immaturity and impudence when he derisively said that Abia NUJ is of no relevance to your administration and ‘should stop pestering’ you.

“Worse still, he boasted before our leadership that your administration has rented and equipped an office apartment in Aba for an amorphous group of reporters, which is unknown to NUJ both at the state and national levels. And this goes to buttress his assertion that Aba, and not Umuahia, is all that matters to your administration.

“Your Excellency, this action is tantamount to encouraging and promoting quackery in the profession. NUJ frowns at this phenomenon and has been striving hard to eradicate it.

“Your Excellency, you may have observed that members of the Correspondents' Chapel, a critical arm of NUJ in the state, had, since October 2016, kept away from the Government House, following repeated antagonism against them by the CPS.

“Our dear Governor, we have continued to restrain our members from engaging your CPS frontally, in order to avoid a breakout of media war between your administration and media organisations in the country.

“We, therefore, decided to send this petition, considering the far-reaching consequences such an ugly scenario would have on your relationship with the media in Abia State in particular and the nation in general.

“We could have taken the alternative measure of recommending the CPS to the national leadership of our Union for appropriate sanctions but we were handicapped by the fact that he is not a registered Journalist.

“In view of the foregoing, the Congress, fully convinced that the CPS lacks demonstrable courtesies and mannerism to work and nurture a cordial relationship between Your Excellency and the media in the state; the Council therefore resolves and states as follows:

*That Your Excellency may wish to consider redeploying the CPS, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, from this strategic position.

*That a qualified, seasoned and experienced professional Journalist, who can competently manage your media image and build a healthy and robust relationship with the media, be appointed in his stead.

*That Abia State NUJ bears no grudges against Your Excellency or your administration.

*That Abia NUJ shall continue to partner with Your Excellency’s administration in your quest to reposition the state.

“We have absolute confidence that you will give this petition due attention.

“Please accept the assurances of the Council’s highest esteem.”

Source News Express

Posted 11/03/2017 12:45:05 AM


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