Call Umahi to order for walking out on journalists, NUJ urges Tinubu 

Call Umahi to order for walking out on journalists, NUJ urges Tinubu 
Minister of Works and Housing, Sen. David Umahi
Call umahi to order for walking out on journalists, nuj urges tinubu 
Minister of works and housing, sen. David umahi

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council has urged President Bola Tinubu to call the Minister of Works and Housing, Sen. David Umahi to order for his walk out on Journalists.

This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the  Chairman and Seccretary of Council, Osadebamwen Osaretin and Ochiaka Ugwu respectively on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to them, the council is appalled by the outright disregard of members of the fourth estate of the realm by Umahi.
Reporters covering the Ministry were seated at the Ministry’s Conference Hall venue of the meeting when the Minister and his entourage walked into the hall.

Vanguard reports that as soon as the national anthem and the national pledge were recited, for some inexplicable reason, the minister stood up and declared, “There is no press here; the press conference cannot hold.”

With this, he asked the Permanent Secretary Yakubu Adam Kofarmata and other staff of the ministry who accompanied him to “follow me to the office.”

The minister’s conduct didn’t go down well with the over 40 journalists from the traditional media as well as online platforms who voiced their frustrations for the time wasted as well as the minister’s conduct and are therefore urging President Tinubu to call Sen. David Umahi to order.

The press conference which was scheduled for 2:00 pm, was at the instance of the Minister.

“The description of over 40 journalists present for an assignment, as “journalists are not present” was very condescending to a news conference he had invited the media through the ministry’s Assistant Director Press, Mr Clement Ezeorah.
“For the avoidance of doubt, over 40 media correspondents were present for the news conference for which the ministry’s invitation had scheduled for 2pm and for which the minister came at 2:48pm.
“The correspondents who were present include those from The Punch, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Nigerian Tribune, The Vanguard, Leadership, Daily Independent, Peoples Daily, Armed Forces Radio, NTA, Arise Television, TVC,  amongst others.
“Describing these and others as “media not present” leaves much to be desired.
“The council urges President Tinubu to call the minister to order as well as direct all his appointees to demonstrate the highest civility and courtesy to journalists and the media in general,” they said.
They  stressed that the minister owes a duty to Nigerians through the media and therefore, should demonstrate respect and utmost courtesy.
They added that, if not, the media would be persuaded to boycott his activities,” they said.
According to them, treating members of the media with such condescension is unbecoming of a minister appointed to serve and not be an emperor.
“The last time was him, trying to shout down the Arise TV Correspondent, Laila Johnson-Salami.
“It would be noted, that, the media has a constitutional role to hold government and its officials accountable to the Nigerian people.
”And therefore, no amount of intemperance from any government official will erode this sacred duty,” they stressed.

Ministry staff who spoke in confidence for fear of retribution confided in Vanguard that, “The minister asked for meeting to speak on some of the Ministry’s achievements under his stewardship and take some questions we didn’t know what happened.

“He probably developed cold feet or is in a bad mood.”

Invitations for the event were sent out a few hours to it’s commencement. It is the practice rather than the exception at the ministry to start events hours behind schedule.