Governor Okowa’s N25m largesse tears journalists, publishers apart in Delta
Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), has kicked against the greed of handling the N25 million honorarium given to newspaper publishers and Journalists in Delta State by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The group in a statement on Wednesday signed by Emmanuel Enebeli, the Chairman and Shedrack Onitsha, the Secretary as the group pass a vote of no confidence in the Comrade Mike Ikeogwu-led Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ for its greed, lack of transparency and accountability as manifested in the sharing of the honorarium.
GbaramatuVoice recalls that the State Governor in the inauguration of the New Government House Press Centre cum Media chat on March 13, 2023, heaped praises on the press, especially the role the press played in promoting government policies and programmes. The money was given to the journalists and Newspaper publishers in the state as a mark of this appreciation.
Speaking concerning the development, the statement stated that the cash reward put smiles on their faces due to the present cash crunch but it was short-lived.
The statement reads: “This, though came as a surprise package, however, journalists were happy, especially with the cash crunch situation which currently is affecting the nation, but their joy was later cut short as the fund was corruptly appropriated by the Delta State Council of NUJ that warehoused the fund.
“Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF as a body was invited to the programme like any other body, including the NUJ Delta State Council through the office of the Public Relations Officer, Government House, Asaba. This has been the tradition between us and the State Government in the event of any activity that will require us to attend, like in other times, we attended in our numbers.
“Right after the media chat, there was tension, and apprehension about what will happen to the money, considering the antecedent of the current leadership of the NUJ Delta State Council whenever money is given together, and as usual, they didn’t disappoint us, as they allowed their GREED to take a better part of the sharing formula.
“We discovered that the NUJ Delta State Council, after much delay from 13 March 2023 to March 22, 2023, released a sharing structure thus: The correspondents Asaba were given N3.2 million; Warri Correspondents, N2.2 million; Indigenous Correspondents; N750,000.00; Ughelli Chapel, N750,000.00; Sapele Chapel, N400,000.00; Association of Community Newspapers of Nigeria, N300,000.00 and DOPF N300, 000.00.
“This we consider belittling and insulting to DOPF and its members.
“We discovered that NUJ Delta State Council didn’t disburse up to N10m from the Governor’s gift to Chapels and other groups; hence we have rejected the money and sent it back to the NUJ Delta State Council, through the Chairman, Mr Mike Ikeogwu.
“Our Executive Council and Board of Trustees after extensive deliberation passed a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE on Comrade Mike Ikeogwu-led NUJ Delta State Council and have also directed our members to henceforth shun Delta Government briefings, press releases and other media-related activities, until this anomaly is addressed.
“However, we hereby place on record categorically, our sincere and profound gratitude, to His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, for his legendary generousity and magnanimity to the Publishers and Journalists in the state over the years, and especially with this latest largess, he voluntarily released to ease the burdens imposed on Nigerians, by the on-going Naira redesign/cash swap fiasco.”