By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has raised alarm over the rising cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and over 700 cases of sexual violations recorded between January and December 2022 in Borno State.
The Chairperson, Communique Drafting Committee, Mrs. Fatima Zanna Mustapha stated this in a communique issued at the end of the maiden congress meeting of the NUJ Borno State Council held on Friday at the NUJ Press Center Maiduguri.
The communique also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intensify awareness campaign on collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) across the state due to effects of the insurgency.
It also commended the Borno State government for declaring a public holiday for the citizens of the state to register for their PVCs during the registration of voters exercise by INEC while appealing to the state government to replicate the gesture by declaring another public holiday for the citizens to be enable to collect their PVCs
The first congress meeting which had 98 registered members of the union in attendance, urged members to conduct themselves professionally before, during and after the coming general elections as well shun all forms of professional misconduct in disrepute with the journalism profession.
The communique further commended the military’s onslaught against groups associated with arms while enjoining the security agents and government to expedite actions on the restoration of civic authority in Guzamala and Abadam LGAs of the state as well liberate other communities in the northern part of the state.
It also urged private school owners in the state to checkmate the incessant increase in school fees from nursery to tertiary levels and corresponding performance of some of their schools.
The congress also raised serious concern on the large number of out of school children , drop outs and orphans on the street in the state capital, Maiduguri city which has been on the increase while calling on relevant ministries and parastatals to address the problems as a matter of great importance before it gets out of control.
The congress also resolved that the leadership of all the chapels should adhere strictly to the constitutional provisions on registration of new members while reiterating the union’s zero tolerance to non-payment of check up dues by the chapels.
It further unanimously accepted the new by-law that makes it compulsory for members of the council to attend and participate in meetings and functions of the union while equally, adopting punishable measures would be taken against those who persistently default or absent themselves without reasonable excuses.
The NUJ members at the meeting also suggested that there is need for the members of the union to prioritize climate change reporting next to conflict reporting in the Sahara by giving more attention to the issue of climate change and its effects.