There are speculations that the dissolved Christopher Akaraonye led faction of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State Council, planned to lease or outrightly sell the over N250m property of the NUJ, to a top politician in Imo(Namewitheld) who owns a popular supermarket in Owerri.As gathered, the proprietor of the said supermarket who was at the verge of vacating their present location, because scrutiny of the original Owerri Master plan, revealed that the property was built in a railway line, thereby constituting a hazard.
It was also gathered from a source in the Akaraonye faction of Imo NUJ, that, at the inception of the Ihedioha administration and the accompanying pressure to restore the original Imo master plan, it was discovered that, the property that accommodates the now popular supermarket which was previously at MCC road was built in a railway line hence the urgent need to relocate it. That was why Okorocha who was governor, then donated the new place to serve as the secretariat of NUJ as to pave way for acquisition of the old secretariat.
It was also alleged that money exchanged hands, to fast track relocation to the new place.
“The disturbing aspect of it all is that some people who claim to be veterans and have been ingloriously involved in the politics of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, and are not willing to bow out are privy to this nefarious and clandestine agreement that is not in the interest of the union. It would also be recalled that the immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State council, Sir Innocent Igwe, who allegedly initiated the deal, in a phone programme on Zanders FM radio station over the weekend, said that, they had wanted to lease out the secretariat, thereby, in advertently giving credence to the rumoured pact with the proprietors of the said supermarket.
Besides, Innocent Igwe, who worked hand in gloves with the Rescue Mission government, against the interests of journalists in the state, had at different fora, described Okorocha as the best Governor Imo State has ever had, recently made case for the embattled Christopher Akaraonye leadership, an action, some keen observers of unfolding event see as exhibition of vested interest in the union’s affairs.
Senator Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, in a swift reaction through a social media, said he has lost interest in the NUJ, “because of the removal of Akaraonye by some characters masquerading as journalists”.
He boasted that he successfully installed a government friendly NUJ that he brought into the mainstream of Okorocha’s rescue mission government, stressing that NUJ is the political arm of journalism practice. “Beside, since they were unquestioningly supportive of Okorocha’s programmes and policies, I needed to add value to the union to the best of my ability. If there had been an election, I would have voted for Christopher Akaraonye, a man who believed in Okorocha’s good works. I would not have under any circumstance, voted for a troublesome and uncontrollably character like Lambert Ojukwu “OJ”. He noted that the man behind O.J, is the former NUJ President, Odusile, who is presently a Commissioner in his state. Continuing, Onwuemeodo said, “we supported Isiguzo to be president and he won”.
Some journalists in the state, have accused Isiguzo of working hand in gloves with the Chris Akaraonye led faction to sell the secretariat of Imo NUJ. They said, the agreement was allegedly reached as part of the terms for Isiguzo’s support for Akaraonye’s alleged unlawful emergence.
“Aside Sam Onwuemeodo and Innocent Igwe, majority of those who worked in Rochas Okorocha’s government are agitating for Akaraonye’s reinstatement and this speaks volume about his antecedents and disposition”, the source opined.