From Bulus Gambo, Abuja
It was a busy week for the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) 2020 Credentials Committee including all other aspirants from various states of the country who have indicated keen interest to contest for all vacant national executive positions during the forthcoming delegates elections billed for November this year. This particular credential committee members were constituted and mandated by the incumbent President of NAWOJ, Ifeyinwa Omowole to screen and clear all the aspirants who will slug it out during the forthcoming delegates conference. Furthermore, the credentials committee are also anticipated to conduct a free and fair elections of the body who will lead the members of the association for the next three years.
As is the routine tradition, after every three years, members of the association from all states of the federation converge at any state that is endorsed and ratified by the national executives and the Central Working Committee to vote national officers anticipated to propel the activities of the association for another tenure. But before every excise, a credentials committee is constituted and shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring the complete manifestation of the programme to its logical conclusion.
Such a similar execise is also conducted and or replicated at states level to vote state officials who are anticipated to replicate such activities of the body within the confines of their mandate. All of these execises are democratically conducted so as to ensure that the leaders who emerge at the end of the voting execise are true representatives of the entire and or majority members of the body.
This November, all members of the association will convene in a state to elect all its national officials to replace all whose tenure would be expiring. This time, the national executive members led by Ifeyinwa Omowole will bow out of office after severing the association for conservative two tenures. It was as a result of this that the credentials committee of the body decided to screen all those who had decided and bought forms to contest for various available positions.
The venue of the screening was the National Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Jabi, Abuja. Interestingly, the choice of the venue did not come to many as a surprise since NAWOJ is an affiliate body of the union. But beyond this however, the committee must have decided to choose the NUJ National Secretariat at the Federal Capital Territory to add credibility to the entire exercise.
For this particular exercise, the post of the President was zoned to the entire North in order to create a spirit of inclusiveness, equity and fair play. This is because; the incumbent national president whose tenure ends this November had served for two terms and is obligated in this gentleman arrangement to give way for a northern leadership.
This is the scenario and or atmosphere all those who are contesting for the seat of the president would face. However, other positions which would be contested alongside that of the presidency of the association are strategically shared across the six geographical zones of the nation.
For this particular election during the forthcoming delegates conference; four contestants are warming up to battle for the presidency. Amongst the four is Lucy Chindaba, a one time national scribe of the association who served in that capacity for two terms back-to-back. Chindaba from Plateau State in the Middle Belt region is contesting against three others all from the North eastern region.
Ladi Bala who hails from Adamawa State in the North eastern region and the present national secretary of the association has thrown her hat to also have a test of the presidency. The incumbent secretary also believes that she has what it takes to take over the mantle of leadership from her boss and continue with the job of the association.
The second contestant for the presidency, Aisha Ibrahim from Borno State within the North eastern region is also vying for the seat of the presidency while Ruth Absalom Abubakar from Gombe State within the same zone is also neck-deep into contesting for the same office. As it is; all the other contestants for the presidency are from the North East while only Chindaba is from the North Central zone.
A source revealed that all efforts is geared towards networking to influence others to step down so as to facilitate the emergence of a single candidate from the entire zone. For now, such move to adopt a consensus from the zone is gradually evaporating after all contestants have obtained, have been screened and have returned their forms.
Despite this; it is not by any means to conclude that the elections is a one way swing. Such a complex elections has its usual surprises. It is however on record that the great NAWOJ at the national level has nose-dived into unspeakable oblivion in most recent times.
Unlike that which it used to be; it is evident that the body is in complete slumber and needs total overhauling. It is a body presently in a state of complete comatose, disoriented and needs urgent attention in the interest of the entire members across the nation.
That is the more reason why during the conference, delegates must look and analyze beyond obvious familiarities to ensure that the right and competent President of NAWOJ emerges at the long run. For Plateau NAWOJ, it’s an opportunity for the state to present a competent leader who had done the state proud when she was the national scribe of the association in the person of Lucy Chindaba.
In the words of a onetime National President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists,(NAWOJ), Fatimah Abdulkareem, “All of us who were active in NAWOJ when I was president can testify to how NAWOJ was in all states of the federation and how NAWOJ was perceived by all the citizens of Nigeria.
This was not by only me but the formidable team that I had in my executive members including the VPs’ of the zones. I want to state emphatically that Lucy Chindaba was the “bestest” of all secretaries, she was my backbone, very reliable, diligent, unassuming and took instructions without doubting because she believed in me and my decisions never disappointed her.
To be a good leader, you must be a good follower, Lucy was not just a good follower but a great follower who was always ready to learn. She worked tirelessly and doggedly to see that NAWOJ got back to those glorious days and even more.
Let’s salvage our only professional association for women in order to make NUJ proud of us once again. I declare my unalloyed faith and support in and for the leadership of LUCY CHINDABA.”
Working with Chindaba in the same office has over the years revealed to me that kind of an Amazon she still is. She is a mother to many, sound beyond comprehension and one ever ready to gladly be corrected when and if she errs. I can basically conclude that she is one amongst many who can come down to anybody’s level so as to be well understood.
Indeed she is absolutely optimistic of her chance for this elections, I am sure that Plateau NAWOJ would not have quickly endorsed her to vie for this distinguished position. Many who have spoken well of Chindaba both within and outside the state have also reposed their confidence on her, based on her accessibility and style of leadership in the association.
With the screening successfully over, it’s now time for the main business even as Chindaba needs all the support she can get to emerge victorious during the delegates conference. Therefore, stakeholders both within and outside the state must brace up and give her all support knowing too well that she does not belong to the class of those who can disappoint us both here on the Plateau and the nation at large.