There is no gainsaying that Saturday August 29th, 2020 means so many things to so many people. But for those in the print media and multimedia, it was a watershed in the annals of photojournalism in Lagos State, Nigeria.
It was a day progressives in the Lagos chapter of Photojournalists Association of Nigeria rose against maladministration, financial impropriety, malfeasance and epileptic leadership to root for a man with credentials in management and professional ethos for the front seat of their professional body. A maxim says, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. In 2019, Mr Abiodun Ajala, the current Photo Editor of Thisday Newspaper was invited to chair a committee on PJAN 1st National Conference.
This task was no doubt an onerous one as it required experience and robust contacts. He not only delivered but gave a whole new meaning to the interpretation of the delivery. It was a successful outing and still one of the best in terms of the cream of the society that the event attracted and the visibility the event got.
So is the rebound on the treasury of the association. His performance index endeared many to him especially the young population of the association and was unanimously sought after to run for the office of the Chairman.
Being a strategist that he is, Ajala did not turn the offer down but asked to seek the face of God first. However, in no distant time he yielded and rose to the occasion. The rest as they say is history. He went through the hurdles though tumultuous but scaled them all.
Those considered to be custodians have sat too long on the bench to know that PJAN has been on sleep mode. PJAN Lagos is said to be over 30years old yet an infant in achievement. There have been little known done in the direction of education, training, mentorship, resource centre, skill transfer, portfolio reviews, corporate social responsibility etc.
Ajala in his words describes the real reasons why change is sacrosanct.
“We are all aware of the crises rocking our association. Among several anomalies , we are having to endure the rudderless leadership, dishonesty and a deliberate attempt to transform the association into a private fiefdom of the present leadership of PJAN.
“For the past 31 years, there is nothing we can point to that association has achieved. That stands out as the main reason why we want to wrestle the reins of power out of the hands of the gang of media feudalist”
The election that brought Abiodun Ajala as the new Chairman of PJAN was truly deserving despite the near impossibility of the powers and principality that chose to look away when injustice was being perpetrated. He surely ran the race, crossed the hurdles and came out unhurt. The media has been awash with reports of his investiture and inauguration of his executives with several congratulatory messages.
The name Ajala, reminds Juju music lovers across the world of the popular ‘Ajala Travels All Over The World’ track by the legendary Juju maestro, Chief Ebenezer Obey. Abiodun Ajala is equally well travelled and exposed to the dynamics and trends across the continents of the world. Congratulations to a worthy and seasoned professional photojournalist who now wears two caps.
First as the Photo Editor of Thisday Newspaper and now the latest addition as the Chairman, Photojournalists Association of Nigeria, Lagos chapter. We can only pray that your reign be a harbinger of good things to come.
•Odusanya wrote in from Lagos