Osun NUJ Crisis: Acting Chairman Kehinde Ayantunji Arrested
By Segun Adeyemo
The Acting Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State Council, Comrade Kehinde Ayantuji was on Tuesday evening arrested by police in the state.
A released by “Returned Unopposed NUJ Officers” described the arrest as uncalled for, unjust and act of intimidation.
Returned unopposed officers of the NUJ include Ayantunji (Vice Chairman), Olabode Awe (Assistant Secretary), Adebisi Alo (Treasurer) and Olusola Egbodofo (Internal Auditor).
The release explained that Ayantunji was arrested at the Press Centre of the union situated along Iwo- Osogbo road by the DPO on the orders of the National President of the NUJ, Mr Waheed Odusile.
Odusile had written the state police command to forcefully seize the union properties in care of Ayantunji who was mandated by the Osun State NUJ congress about six weeks ago to take over the running of union.
The congress’s decision was sequel to the attempt by Odusile to impose a caretaker committee on the state council, following his decision to single handedly annulled a free, fair and credible election of the union officers held on February 11, 2016.
Chapel chairmen and secretaries in nine out of the 11 chapels in Osun NUJ state council had rejected the annulment on the ground that the nullification of the election should not affect the totality of the elected council officers.
According to the chapel officers, while the reasons for the cancellation of the elections were untenable, unreasonable and are subjects of law suit, there were officers returned unopposed and should have been handed over the running of the union, if Mr Odusile does not have hidden agenda in his bid to single handedly annulled the election.
”Today’s arrest and detention of Ayantunji who was returned unopposed as the Vice the Chairman of the union was triggered off by a letter sent to the Osun Commissioner of Police to the effect that he should be forced to release properties in his care to the unrecognised caretakers committee but which he refused.
“May we, the officers returned unopposed and chapel chairman and secretaries, state unequivocally that what Odusile, the dictatorial president of NUJ has been doing since are unknown to the union’s constitution and will not be allowed in Osun.
“We want the police to handle this matter with care as the illegal and jaundiced annulment aimed to serve the selfish desire of Odusile who is already working for his second term bid, as genuine members of the union will stop at nothing to resist Odusile’s dictatorial tendencies.
”We urge the Osun police to immediately release Mr Ayantunji who is only acting in accordance with the letter and spirit of the constitution as against Odusile who has been acting with no recourse to the constitution of NUJ”.
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