The Abdulrasheed Akogun-led Compendium Committee of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State chapter, has delivered on its mandate.
The Committee which was inaugurated about 80 days ago, was saddled with the responsibility of coming up with membership compilation.
Speaking during the launching of the compendium in Ilorin, Kwara state capital on Friday, Akogun said:
“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.”
Akogun explained that at its inaugural meeting, the committee decided not to take a kobo from the lean purse of the Council. Rather, it 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”, he added.
Akogun appreciated the management and Staff of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) and the Saliu Mustapha Foundation for partnering with the committee through adverts.
“The patronage of both media friendly outfits is the sole reason why we have a Compendium to unveil and celebrate today”, he noted.
Speaking further, Akogun said: “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.
“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”, Akogun concluded.