A’ Ibom Journalists urge chairman to resign for invading office with DSS.

By Isaac Job

Journalists of National Media Houses covering Akwa Ibom state under the aegis of Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, ( NUJ) have asked chapel chairman comrade Idongesit Ashameri to resign for invading and intimidating members by using Department of State Security Service(DSS) to destabilize Congress proceedings.

In a petition dated 20 October 2022 titled “Gross Misconduct/Abuse of Office signed by 20 out of 31 members and addressed to the embattled chairman Idongesit Ashameri copied to State Council Chairman, comrade Amos Etuk , Zone “F” vice president comrade Dokubo and the National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) comrade Chris Iziguzo.

The petition made available to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday reads in parts:
“That on October 13, 2022, you proved your tyranny by invading the Chapel monthly Congress with undercover security operatives with specific instruction for the operatives to deal ruthlessly, if need be shoot at sight any member who gets close to the Chapel. A development that has never happened in the entire history of NUJ.”

The 28 paragraph petition also alleged that comrade Idongesit Ashameri had displayed despotic style of leadership and always antagonistic with members who disagree with her on matters of welfare to members.

They listed other misconducts and abuse of office to include: printing of letterhead with inscription “OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN ” with intention to defraud members of the public outside the official Letter headed paper of the union.

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“It is public notice that you abused your office by flagrantly dishing out letters for pecuniary and selfish gains only known to you using a letter headed paper carrying, OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN OF CORRESPONDENTS CHAPEL contrary to official letter headed paper of the Chapel and against the ethics of the profession.”

Other forms of abuse of office captured in the petition include: causing division in the union, lack of accountability characterized by bloated account, embarking on ego trips, lack of support and trust by Executives of the union, dictatorial tendencies and lopsided treatment of members and committees.

“First, since your election into office as Chairman of our Chapel on January 18, 2021, you have been despotic, dictatorial and tyrannical in dealing with members, always using the phrase, “I owe no one apology and explanation.” That you rule the Chapel without regard to member’s sensibilities.

” Such conducts in our view is inimical to the unity, peace and growth of the Chapel. This, has continued to be your trade mark inspite of counsel by members of Exco

“That you embarked on an ego-centric trip to Abuja in the guise of organising a retreat for the Correspondents Chapel at the whopping sum of about ten million naira (N10 million). To the dismay of members, no value added for their benefits.”

The petitioners, therefore urged the National President comrade Chris Iziguzo to intervene and served the union from further balkanization and collapse.

Investigation reveal that the union decided to invite National leadership to wade into the crisis as a result of compromise by the state council who swept the petition under the carpet.

One of the signatories to the petition and executive member of the union comrade Sunday Bassey said the state council of the union ignored the petitioners and begged them to drop the allegations do that the embattled chairman can complete her tenure .

” The state Chairman supposed to play a role of father of all in such situation.He would set to Investigative panel to look into the allegations.

” But surprisingly , he didn’t do it. In a meeting he invited the parties , the state Chairman appealed to the aggrieved members to allow the Chairman to continue. We were surprised

” After the meeting, the embattled chairman was dancing in the street claiming victory over such weight of allegations”

Meanwhile , the embattled chairman Comrade Idongesit Ashameri said she invited the DSS to disrupt Congress meeting because she was not comfortable with the anger of members .

” I admit that DSS undercover and another truck of DSS officials were invited to calm down frayed nerves during the Congress.

” I sincerely apologise for this action but other allegations are not true . I want peace to return so that I can complete my tenure .” she said

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