By Onyekachukwu Meluwa, Warri.
During the last Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ), organised by the Delta State Council of the union under the watch of Comrade Michael Ikeogwu as the state Chairman in Asaba.
One particular journalist got a high ranking award that was thereafter discussed in different quarters with mixed feelings.
While some saw it as another form of favour seeking venture to strength the leadership of the union in the state, others applauded the award, considering the immeasurable contributions of the awardee towards the growth of the union in the state and beyond;.
Yet, some other detractors of the awardee frowned at what they called a frivolous bestowal of award by the council.
That controversial awardee was Comrade Osita Biose, a one time chairman of the NUJ in the state.
He was bestowed with the prestigious award of “The Peace Ambassador Of The NUJ”.
Announcing the award at the well attended event in Asaba, the state capital, Comrade Ikeogwu maintained that Comrade Biose as a member of the NUJ had relentlessly brought peace to the union in the state and beyond, adding that not only had the awardee continued to render useful advice to the leadership of the union in the state, but that he had a wonderful binding force that had been creating the existing peaceful ambience among the various chapels of the union in the state.
He said that NUJ had been recognising the achievements of other members of the public without according journalists their right honour, adding that there was the need for charity to begin at home henceforth.
Receiving the award, a surprised Comrade Biose thanked the leadership of the union for deeming him worthy of the revered award, adding that he least expected the award, even as he said that the award would spur him to work harder for the growth of the union in the state and beyond.
Yes, Comrade Biose is a stabilising factor of the NUJ in the state and beyond. The recent election of the union in the state that returned Comrade Ikeogwu as Chairman for a second term is indeed an x-ray of his binding force of the various groups before, during and after the election. Not only did he network with critical stakeholders within the state, he was almost always in touch with the national leadership of the union in Abuja to ensure a free, fair, credible and acceptable election of the union in the state.
As elections of chapel leadership of the union in the state continue with the expiration of the tenures of such leadership, Comrade Biose has also brought his peaceful disposition to bear on the conduct of such elections. The result is that the Comrade Ikeogwu leadership of the union has so far recorded hitch free conducts of chapel elections of the union in the state.
From the Asaba Correspondents Chapel, through DBS, Pointer, Indigenous, Ughelli, Sapele, Ika, Federal and State Information, down to Isoko, up to the Warri Correspondents chapels and many more, Comrade Biose’s reverberating peaceful essence keeps echoing with the spontaneity of the song, ” Ojogwu, you are a leader, you are a leader, you are a leader, you are a leaderrrrrrrr !!!
Yes, Comrade Biose, fondly referred to by members of the union in the state and beyond as the Ojogwu, is a leader of the unifying mould of Martin Luther King Jnr.