OPEN LETTER TO SAMUEL ARUWAN, SPOKESMAN OF KADUNA STATE GOVERNMENT.
I am truly constrained and pained to write you this letter but I equally have an obligation as once the Secretary of the Kaduna Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ to do so.My decision to write you is not precipitated on the basis of hatred or joining issues with you but just to remind you of yesterday, today and probably advice you for the future.
Just like the proverbial mother hen that says; “I am crying not because mr kit will let go my chic but just to let the whole world know the evil Mr. Kit has done to me.”Indeed my open letter to you is not aimed at changing your mind set towards your colleagues in Kaduna state neither am I afraid of being picked up by security agents and thrown to the prison after you might have read it, after all some of us have been marked with ‘KASUPDA’ red paint for possible demolition. All I want to do here is only to present a picture that has existed among us before now.
YESTERDAY in case you have forgotten, I like to remind you of your yesterday as once a true member of Kaduna NUJ under my tenure as Secretary. Here, I will only remind you of the major events that involved your person. Remember that sometime ago, Kaduna state government (not this one) used police to pick you up.
You were detained at the Kaduna state Police Command preparing to arraign and subsequently throw you to the prison that Friday. Remember also that it was the then NUJ chairman, Yusuf Idris and my humble self as his secretary that stormed the Kaduna police Command and the government house to prevent them from sending you to prison.
It was NUJ and your colleagues that did that.Today, you have the opportunity of saving a colleague from going to prison but you failed to do that yet you attend chapel congresses and you claimed to still be a member of the union. Despite the efforts of the council and colleagues you pretentiously assured that he was going to be released before 6.pm last week Friday alas, it never happened and we now know our stand with you. Personally I am not surprised to this scenario going by your recent antecedents, I know that journalists are in for trouble and already under siege in Kaduna.
I also like to remind you that when Governor Nasir El-Rufai appointed you as government spokesman I, on behalf of the NUJ wrote you a congratulated letter and delivered it to you. The council during my tenure wrote a request for courtesy call to His Excellency as the tradition demands we followed it with several remind but we were frustrated until we left the office. Even the coming of the new NUJ did not help matters as NUJ is yet to meet with the governor close to one year. When we discovered your plans of divide and rule I approached you and we had several small meetings and each time you will insist that government has right to chose who covers her assignments.
When I pressed further you told me that it was because of the money and I advised that you go through the NUJ but you never listened. In my 30 years of practice in Kaduna state I have never heard that state assignments are restricted to certain journalists until now. To me it is a sign of poor media management. Worst still is the embargo on journalists wanting to clarify information from you or your superior. You hardly pick your phone and you select those you send press releases to. Any journalist that want to come meet you at the office will be subjected to all sorts of harassment at the government house gate trying to get clearance from you or the chief security officer of the governor.
TODAY we are glad that one of our own and indeed a son of the soil is the government spokesman in Kaduna. You have the power to do whatever you want with journalists in this state but remember there is time for everything under the sun. We have seen Mukhtar Sirajo, Umar Sani, Reuben Buhari, Ahmed Maiyaki and now Samuel Aruwan.By the Grace of God, we will see many of you in future. Soldier go soldier come barracks remains.NUJ will not die in Kaduna. The divide and rule is just for a while. An injury one is an injury to all.
FREE JACOB O. DICKSON.
Dominic Uzu, Kaduna
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