By SIMON EBEGBULEM
PRESIDENT of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr. Muhammed Garba, has emerged President of Federation of African Journalists, FAJ, at the 3rd Congress of FAJ in Casablanca, Morocco.
He emerged as a member of the nine-man Steering Committee of the FAJ after polling 68 votes, against the 29 polled by the past President, Mr. Omar Osman from Somalia.
He was elected after a conclave, which lasted for about 10 minutes by the nine-man Steering Committee members, who unanimously endorsed him as the new President of FAJ.
Also, Nigeria’s Fatimah Abdulkareem, was elected Vice Chairperson of the Pan African Gender Council of FAJ.
Twenty-eight-member countries participated in the two-day congress which lasted from March 30 to 31, 2013. Nigeria enjoyed the highest voting right in Africa with 10 delegates.
The congress raised alarm over the growing insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria, kidnapping and killing of journalists in the country and urged the Nigerian government to pass a law that will protect the lives of journalists in the country just as it called for a realistic insurance cover for Nigerian journalists.
In his acceptance speech, Garba, who currently is the Chairman of West African Journalists Association, WAJA, expressed joy over the confidence reposed in him and called for concerted efforts in the fight against the intimidation of journalists in some African countries such as Angola, Ethiopia and others.
Commending the efforts of the former President of FAJ, Garba assured that he will work closely with the International Federation of Journalists to ensure the protection and improved welfare for African journalists.
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