Borno State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has canvassed for better welfare packages and insurance for members working in volatile areas to serve as motivation for the enormous risk they take in reporting events in such environment.
The union at its triennial conference/elections held at the weekend in Maiduguri urged media owners and government to introduce special allowances for journalists reporting from hostile environments as is the practice in many international media organisations, maintaining that by so doing, journalists in such areas can give their best without compromising ethical standards.
Outgoing Chairman of the chapel, Abdulkareem Haruna, while delivering his valedictory address, said the last six years of insurgency, especially in Borno State was challenging and traumatic for journalists.
He said many of his colleagues run from one end of the state capital to the other, risking their lives in order to perform their
duty of information dissemination to the public.
“I call for special protection for journalists covering conflict areas,” he said.
He said journalists representing various media houses in Borno were part of Boko Haram’s history. “We are also part of the unfortunate history that will be written some day. We remained here and did our job professionally at the risk of our lives. We covered the Boko Haram insurgency without any experience and training of war reporting. We learnt on the battle field and even managed to survive all the threats to life from actions from both sides of the war,” he stated.
He urged the national body of the union to honour journalists in Borno State, especially correspondents who stayed back to do their job, while others including senior government officials and politicians fled.
Announcing the results, Chairman of the Credentials/Electoral Committee, Elder Dauda Pam of Nigerian Standard congratulated the winners.
The chapel produced new officials including Haruna Dauda Biu of Voice Of America, VOA, as Chairman, while Inusa Ndahi of National Mirror newspaper became the Vice Chairman after defeating the incumbent, Mustapha Kwaru of Peoples Daily newspaper with 15 against 10 votes.
Timothy Olarenwaju of The Sun newspaper emerged Secretary having also defeated the incumbent Secretary,
Micheal Olugbode of Thisday with 17 votes against seven.
Others who emerged unopposed were Ben Aidokanya of Nigerian Pilot as treasurer, Ahmed Mari of Champion newspaper as Auditor, Dauda Mbay of Today’s Impact as Assistant Secretary, while Hamza Suleiman of NAN is the new Financial Secretary.

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