|The National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohamed Garba, is new President of Pan-African journalists body, FAJ (Photo Credit: GNA)|
The NUJ President was elected at the just ended third congress of that continental body representing the interests of over 50,000 journalists in Africa, held in Casablanca Morocco.
Mohamed Garba replaced Omar Faruk Osman Nur, who served as FAJ President for the past six years.
The Congress in accordance with Article 9.4 and 9.5 of the FAJ Constitution, elected a 9-member steering committee, which later elected Mohamed Garba as the new President.
In the same vein, Maria Louisa Carvalho of the Angolan Journalists Union was elected as the Vice President of the Federation, while Stanis Nkundiye of the National Syndicate of Media Professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo retains his position as the Treasurer of FAJ.
Other members of the Steering Committee included Ibrahima Khalilloulah Ndiaye (Senegal), Alexandre Niyungeko (Burundi) Muheldin Ahmed Titawi (Sudan) Credo Tetteh (Togo) and the former Vice President of the Federation, Foster Dongozi, from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and Mouhamed Bchir Chakakou (Tunisia).
Three reserve members to the Steering Committee were also elected namely, Roland Affail Monney (Ghana), Edouard Adzotsa (Congo Brazzaville) and Collin Haba (Rwanda). Monney was nominated by his country man and former reserve member of the Steering Committee Bright Blewu, who represented the GJA at the Congress.
In his inaugural speech, the new President Mohamed Garba, said that the primary concern of the new Steering Committee would be to unite the affiliates in the continent and moreover to ensure that unions in the continent were strengthened in order for them to defend the rights and welfare of their mem
|National Union of Journalists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Steering Committee, he emphasized, could not do their work effectively without the existence of strong unions. “We will endeavour to confront the major challenges before us and will always do the best we can to promote respect of the rights of journalists and to promote quality journalism in Africa”.
Mohamed Garba paid tribute to the outgoing FAJ President, Omar Faruk Osman Nur, who he said had demonstrated a lot of determination for the past six years to ensure that FAJ meets objectives that it has set out for itself at its inception.
This new Steering Committee, he said, would utilize that working programme set up by the former Steering Committee, and would not at any time hesitate to contact and consult with Faruk, in order to tap from his wealth of experience.
FAJ President thanked the Moroccan Union of Journalists for hosting the Congress. He also thanked the IFJ President, Jim Boumelha for his unflinching support to the unions in the continent and his commitment to ensure safety and protection of journalists in Africa and the world at large.
He assured the IFJ President that he would continue to work with the IFJ in the most effective manner and would make its doors continuously open to all the regional associations in the continent.
The two day congress gave delegates from 34 countries the opportunity to look at the governance and policies of the Federation, scrutinized and discussed the activities and financial reports, debated and approved motions, reviewed constitutional amendments and working programme for 2013-2016 as well as elected new leaders.
Delegates also addressed pressing issues facing journalists and their organisations such as increased attempts to criminalise journalism work, working conditions in the media industry, gender equality, safety of journalists and impunity.
For the first time since FAJ was created, the Congress included an event specifically dedicated to the working programme to achieve gender women equality.
The Pan-African gender council committee was formally put in place sanctioned by the Congress, making FAJ the first IFJ continental federation that has special structures dedicated to address the needs, interests, and issues of women journalists.
In that regard, the congress elected Mrs Mounia Belafia (Morocco), Fatima Abdulkareem (Nigeria), Carla Lima (Cape Verde), Angele Chisimba (Zambia) and Kadiatou Diallo (Guinea Conakry) as members of the gender council committee.
Delegates said they were very confident on the new FAJ leadership on which they were expecting to score more key successes to promote and protect the rights of journalists.
FAJ over the years had received recognition and support from its parent organization, the International Federation of Journalists and claims the position of legitimate voice of journalists and journalism in Africa.
Delegates asked the new leadership to rebrand its image in order to maintain a high-level profile with partners and the trade union movements.
Source: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GNA
|International Federation of Journalists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|English: DRC, orthographic projection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
He emerged as a member of the nine-man Steering Committee of the FAJ after polling 68 votes, against the 29 polled by the past President, Mr. Omar Osman from Somalia.
He was elected after a conclave, which lasted for about 10 minutes by the nine-man Steering Committee members, who unanimously endorsed him as the new President of FAJ.
Also, Nigeria’s Fatimah Abdulkareem, was elected Vice Chairperson of the Pan African Gender Council of FAJ.
Twenty-eight-member countries participated in the two-day congress which lasted from March 30 to 31, 2013. Nigeria enjoyed the highest voting right in Africa with 10 delegates.
The congress raised alarm over the growing insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria, kidnapping and killing of journalists in the country and urged the Nigerian government to pass a law that will protect the lives of journalists in the country just as it called for a realistic insurance cover for Nigerian journalists.
In his acceptance speech, Garba, who currently is the Chairman of West African Journalists Association, WAJA, expressed joy over the confidence reposed in him and called for concerted efforts in the fight against the intimidation of journalists in some African countries such as Angola, Ethiopia and others.
Commending the efforts of the former President of FAJ, Garba assured that he will work closely with the International Federation of Journalists to ensure the protection and improved welfare for African journalists.
BY Kenneth Ehigiator & DANIEL ETEGHE
Over 75 passengers and crew narrowly escaped death Thursday as a Rabat, Morocco-bound Royal Air Maroc flight lost one of its engines mid-air.
The flight, which took off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 7:30am, had on board National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Garba Mohammed, and seven other Nigerian journalists who were to attend the Federation of Africa Journalists conference in Morocco.
The other journalists include National Secretary, NUJ, Shuaibu Liman, National Treasurer, Fatima Abdulkarim, Mukhtar Gidado, former Vice President, Zone E, Gbenga Onayiga, as well as chairmen of Bauchi and Kogi states chapters of the union.
Also on board the flight was a group of Beninois journalists who were billed to attend the same conference.
Vanguard gathered that the aircraft, Boeing 737-800, was already an hour into the flight when the pilot noticed failure in one of the engines of the twin-engine aircraft.
He was said to have immediately embarked on a return to point of take-off and called for emergency landing.
Lagos airport officials who preferred anonymity, said fire tenders and ambulance vehicles were deployed in response to the emergency declared by the pilot.
Fire hydrants were reportedly deployed in runway 18R where the pilot was expected to land the aircraft, having shed off fuel.
The pilot was, however, said to have landed safely without any injury to passengers and bodily damage to the aircraft.
Passengers who had urgent appointments to keep in Morocco reportedly engaged officials of the airline in war of words for deploying an aircraft deemed not airworthy.
The intervention of airport officials was said to have prevented what could have been an ugly spectacle at the airport.
NUJ President, Garba Mohammed, who thanked God for averting what could have been a major disaster, said the aircraft engines on take-off made some deafening vibrations, which frightened passengers on board.
He quoted the Beninois journalists as saying the engines gave a similar sound when they took off in Cotonou yesterday morning en route Lagos.
At press time, it was learnt that the airline was making arrangements to check the passengers into an hotel as stipulated by international civil aviation regulations, with a promise to airlift them to their destination today.