• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Constitutional Review: SWAN tells NUJ to back down, threatens legal actions

Abdulgafar Oladimeji

In a swift response to a publication made by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) concerning constitutional review which will subject the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN) to the Union’s rule, the concerned association has warned the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ to desist from interfering in its affairs to avoid the invocation of the wrath of law against it.

The association in a press statement issued, on 27th January 2023, signed by the Secretary General of the association, Jude Okpara dismissed the purported amendment article 9 of the NUJ constitution newly enshrined to regulate the activities of SWAN.

The SWAN scribe in the statement said “The attention of the leadership and members of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has been drawn to some news report in the Social Media over a position said to have been taken by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Special Delegates Conference held on the 24-27 January 2023 in Kano, Kano State.

“Ordinarily we would have ignored it, but for the erroneous impression such a post would create in the minds of uninformed members of the public.

“In the purported reports, the NUJ was alleged to have: Passed a new law to supervise all activities of SWAN. That all SWAN elections must be supervised by NUJ. That the National President of SWAN should be addressed as Chairman among other resolutions.

The statement further said “While we do not bother ourselves with whatever decision or amendments that the NUJ carried out at Kano, it is however instructive to inform the public of the current status of SWAN as an independent association registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

“It would be unfortunate if, the NUJ having known our status will choose to engage in frivolous plans to regulate the activities of an association that operates independently with her laws guiding its operations.

“In hindsight, we have also read the NUJ Communique from the said Special Delegates Conference and none of the major resolutions from it mentioned SWAN. “We must however warn that whether the omission of any decision on SWAN from the meeting was concealed from the communique for whatever reason or not, we are convinced that the NUJ has been aware of our independence and cannot gather to make laws that will affect SWAN and her members; but where such is done, its effect cannot be binding on our members and will remain an exercise in futility.

The association stated that “We remain resolute in our desire to make SWAN more progressive and responsive to the ever-changing times.

Though warned that “Members are advised to go about their statutory responsibilities in line with the SWAN Statute, as any Executive Committee member at any level of leadership whose actions contravene the Association’s extant rules shall be made to face the wrath of the law.

“We have however put our lawyers and International collaborators, the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) on alert,” SWAN stated.

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