Leadership (Abuja)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: Northern Unity, Difficult Task - NUJ President

The President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Muhammed Garba, has said that the unity of the north will be a difficult task to achieve, when Governors sit in their respective states and watch the legacies of late Sadauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello collapse.

Garba stated this at the weekend when he paid a solidarity visit to New Nigerian Newspapers whose workers are currently on strike over the non payment of their salaries and entitlements for about 12 months.

According to him, the non payment of the salaries is not only worrisome but unfortunate and demands drastic actions to redeem the situation. This was just as he said that the national secretariat of the NUJ was in full support of their current strike and would also support them in any other actions they might decide to take to fight their cause.

He stressed, " if the northern Governors are finding it difficult to tackle the NNN issues which have lingered for too long now, then the issue of uniting the north will certainly be a difficult task to achieve" he said.

He disclosed that in his personal and official capacities, he had discussed the matter with the relevant authorities including the Vice President Namadi Sambo on ways of salvaging the company, but wondered why the issue has continued to deteriorate.

"During most of my meetings with them, they kept promising to do something but yet nothing is done, if the northern governors cannot revive the company, then the obvious thing is for it to be privatised as an alternative" he suggested.

The NUJ President disclosed that the entitlement of the NNN retirees was captured in the 2013 budget and that he was working closely with the legislators in the National Assembly (NASS), particular with those who had media background to see how they could assist appropriately in that regard.

The workers of the NNN under the umbrella of the Joint Consultative Union of the National Printing, Publishing and Papers Products Workers (NUPPPPROW) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had declared a work-to rule action following the expiration of the seven day ultimatum issued the management of the company which expired on January 11, 2013.

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