Officers and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Thursday condoned off the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Osun State Council and barred journalists from holding its congress.
The security outfit, acting on the information that some journalists were coming to the centre to foment trouble, arrived at the press centre as early as 7a.m. and condoned off the premises. Men of the agency, who were armed to the teeth, manned the entrance of the NUJ and prevent anybody from entering the premises.
It was gathered that members of the caretaker committee allegedly appointed by the President of the NUJ, Waheed Odusile, approached the security agency to preventing the congress from holding. The development followed the leadership crisis which had engulfed the union since last February election of the union. The election was held on February 11 where Mr. Biodun Olalere emerged the winner and the losers congratulated the winners.
The winners immediately took oath of office supervised by all National Officers of the union led by Vice President, ‘B’ Zone of the union. But a month later, Odusile annulled the election hinging his action on a petition he allegedly received from some group of people. Since then the union had know no peace because majority of the members rejected the annulment of the election and constitution of the so-called caretaker committee whose members included signatories to the said petition. The national secretariat of the union led by Odusile had since given support to the caretaker committee he allegedly imposed on the members of the union and mandated the three-man committee to takeover the NUJ Press Centre at all cost.
The caretaker committee had surreptitiously approached all security agencies in the state with aim of preventing the congress of the union from holding, by always alleging that the Vice Chairman of the union, Mr. Kehinde Ayantunji, wanted to cause trouble after holding congress at the press centre.
In fact, the congress which was supposed to hold around 11a.m., could not hold as men and officers of NSCDC stationed at the premises, insisting that they received directive above that no meeting should be allowed at the centre.
The journalists later went to the office of the state Commandant of the NSCDC, E O Ayodele, to complaint to him on the directive given to his boys and were alleged to be taking side in the whole matter.
The commandant was however pleaded with members of NUJ to allow peace to reign in the state.