The Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), South-West, (B Zone), Mr. Cosmos Oni has explained the rationale behind the investiture of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the Grand Patron of the union and at the same time honour conferred on him with an Award of Excellence in Leadership.
According to Oni, Aregbesola merits the honour because of his immense contributions to the media profession, accessibility to journalists and his delivery of good governance in Osun.
Cosmos described the senseless criticism of the programme as political, saying that the division in the political space in Osun was responsible for the sponsored controversy.
He expressed dismay that some members of the union allowed themselves to be used to score cheap political point.
The Vice President said, “Ogbeni has no doubt demonstrated his love for and contributed to the profession in no small means. He owns three media outlets and employed journalists. He also bought buses which are still being used by both the Osun Council of the NUJ and NUJ Correspondens Chapel.
“He was accessible to journalists as governor and as a minister. The criticism as regards this programme is political. We are journalists and should distance ourselves from politics. However, it is disheartening that some of our members have allowed themselves to be used. We know what is happening. But we are on the side of the truth.
“Article 5 of the NUJ Constitution is clear. The zone does not need the approval of the council chairmen to organize a programme or give award to somebody. It is the NUJ State Council Chairman that needs approval of the zone. The criticism of the investiture and award is baseless and political.”