Ahead of the November 25, Triennial Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, the Campaign train of the incumbent president, Bala Ladi, stormed Rivers State, on Wednesday.
The visit was to seek the support of Rivers NAWOJ for President Ladi, who is running for a second term.
It was also to canvass votes for the re-election of the incumbent National Secretary, Helen Udofa.
Other candidates who made up the Ladi campaign train were, Folake Adeniji, vying for the position of the Deputy National President and Joyce Haruna, contesting for the office of the National Internal Auditor.
Addressing NAWOJ members at the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Conference Hall, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Mr. Amos Dunia, the National Consultant of the NUJ, who represented the Director General of Ladi Campaign Team, expressed gratitude to the Stanley Job Stanley led state excos of NUJ and the Susan Serekara-Nwikhana led state executives of NAWOJ.
Dunia stressed that for continuity sake, female journalists in the state should give all their votes to Ladi and her team, following what he described as the achievements of the president within three years.
Speaking in an interview with TNN, Ladi explained that she was in the state to, “solicit support of women journalists for my re-election bid, I am the incumbent president, our election is coming up next week and Rivers State is so important because of the number of Women journalists, delegates that will be coming from Rivers State for the national election and it’s very strategic as well.”
The president while recounting her achievements within the three years expressed gratitude to the female journalists over what she described as an overwhelming reception given to her and her team.
She said, “in 2020, our campaign promises were hinged on a four-cardinal agenda; Enhancing visibility and restoring the integrity of NAWOJ before the right-thinking members of society, capacity building for members, providing an office for the day-to-day operation of the association and to acquire land for the building of a permanent secretariat for NAWOJ.
“In fulfilment of the promises, we can boldly say that in 2023, we have kept faith with the social contract entered into and signed with NAWOJIANS. Let’s take a peek at some of the kept promises.
“Women journalists across the states of the federation participated in different forms of training, such as; Gender-sensitive reporting, verify, digital storytelling, fact-checking, reporting the electoral process, sexual and gender-based violence reporting.
“We drastically engaged with donor agencies like UNICEF, Action Aid Nigeria, UN Women, Organisation for Innovation and Sustainable Development, She Forum, Institute for Media and Society, International Press Centre, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, FIDA among others.
“Also was the acquisition of a fully furnished and functional national secretariat and the complement of two staff, a programme officer and an accountant. Reconstitution of board membership to reflect people from different fields of expertise and endeavours. Conducted the first ever board meeting of NAWOJ. Developed a 5-Year Plan Funded by ActionAid Nigeria. Procured relevant documents that strengthened the NAWOJ structure (SCUML), among others.
“Policies developed for NAWOJ are Gender Policy, Human Resource Policy, SHEARS Policy, Financial Policy, Board Manual, Recruitment Policy. We produced a customised register for state chapters. Produced customised NAWOJ national wrappers.
“National events held were the 32nd anniversary of NAWOJ, national security summit, national prayers for the peace of Nigeria. We issued press statements on burning issues of national importance, achieved robust media engagements and appearances to give NAWOJ visibility and enhanced credibility.
“We also organised protest rally on sexual harassment in UNICAL, Cross Rivers State in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria on women’s voice and leadership project funded by Global Affairs Canada.”
For Rivers NAWOJ, Ladi stated that, “in the last three years under our administration, we’ve been able to provide training for some women journalists here in Rivers State, we donated office equipment to Rivers State chapter of NAWOJ and it is just an opportunity for us to come around and to give them our report haven served for three years. We came here to tell them the success stories that we have recorded because of the mandate that they gave us three years ago.
“Equally, to solicit and appeal that they come over to Abuja and give us another mandate of three years so that we can consolidate on the achievements that we have recorded, particularly the land that we have acquired for NAWOJ, we want to build that land, the land is meant for the National Secretariate of NAWOJ.
“We are equally planning to apply for a community radio license; her voice radio station, which is just a NAWOJ radio station that will continue to give the Nigeria woman that voice for her to be heard.”
In her response, the state chairperson of NAWOJ, Serekara-Nwikhana while welcoming the visitors, charged her members to vote competence in the forthcoming election.