FEATURED: Kwara NUJ @50; The Tortuous Path To History - 9japarrot


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Friday 9 July 2021

FEATURED: Kwara NUJ @50; The Tortuous Path To History

 _If you don't like the road you are walking, start paving another_ - Dolly Parton 

I stand before you on this historic day to proudly echo veni vedi veci. Today's record making event was, to some naysayers, inconceivable and rather a tall order, which will go down like some other committees in a badly polarised Union like ours. Yet, we have risen above all odds to write this history that will dictate the pace in Kwara NUJ and indeed all other NUJ Councils in the country.

With the skepticism that trailed the appointment of the Compendium Committee, we resolved amongst ourselves to deliver on our mandate no matter the landmines. This resolve forced us to personal deprivation, countless sleepless nights and brainstorming, all with the aim of doing something worthwhile and proving doubting Thomases wrong.

When Alfred Sloan the American born serial businessman said, " There has to be this pioneer, the individual who has the courage, ambition to overcome obstacles, that always develop when one tries to do something worthwhile, especially when it is new and different" , he most probably had the Kwara NUJ Compendium committee in mind.

The Committee, appointed a little over 80 days ago, with the mandate of coming up with membership compilation, at its inaugural meeting decided to not take a kobo from the lean purse of the Council. Rather, we strategically positioned the publication of the compendium to be financed and driven by advert patronage.

Little did we know we were taking on a onerous and daunting responsibility and herculean task. Sourcing advert was harder than piercing the eyes with a needle. Yet, here we are today, with this historic compilation solely financed by the meagre revenue generated.

I must at this juncture, specially appreciate the management and Staff of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Services (KWIRS) for choosing to partner with us through advert. It shows that the management places premium on its relationship with the media and thus instantaneously attended to our request letter and made necessary payment within 48 hours.

In the same light, the Saliu Mustapha Foundation, which has always prioritised its relationship with the Kwara NUJ as a body and journalists on an individual level, is also worthy of our commendation.

The patronage of both media friendly outfits is the sole reason why we have a Compendium to unveil and celebrate today. So, I on behalf of the Compendium Committee and the entirety of practicing journalists in Kwara State, say a very big thank you to Kwara Internal Revenue Services and Saliu Mustapha Foundation.

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, the iconic United States of America former Secretary of States aptly captured today when she said "People who end up as 'firsts' don't actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love and it just happens they're the first to do it" 

It was in the course of unflinching dedication to the task before us that we realized that ours will be the first State Council in the NUJ history to publish a comprehensive membership compendium and thus we've ended up making history that will not only be a reference point in Kwara NUJ Council but the entire federation.

We ended up making a landmark history while just doing us, with dedication, without expecting any monetary reward nor gratification from any quarters.

According to Ameen Rihani, a Lebanese American writer, intellectual and political activist, who was also a major figure in the mahjar literary movement and an early theorist of Arab nationalism, "the footsteps of pioneer ultimately becomes the highway of a nation.

I must, while rounding up, use this opportunity to beseech us, the members of the fourth estate of the realm, saddled with the responsibility of documenting society's happenings, to stop shaving other people's hairs while leaving ours bushy.

The task the Compendium Committee was given exposed our collective failure to properly document and report ourselves! We struggled to harvest records of past activities of the Council, which is one of the founding fathers of the NUJ in the Country. This is, to say the least highly detestable, and concerted efforts must henceforth be put in place by successive Kwara NUJ Council Executives to immediately right the wrongs and guard against future relapse.

On our part, we have laid the foundation, which can and must be built upon towards ensuring that the rich history and strides of the Kwara NUJ council are well documented and preserved.

 Thanks and God bless.

 Abdulrasheed Akogun
 Chairman, NUJ Compendium committee (2021)

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