Journalists disrupt own election in Ekiti

Journalists

An attempt to appoint a new set of leadership for the Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) ended in fiasco on Thursday as some aggrieved members of the union disrupted the process and caused its abrupt end over alleged fraud.

NUJ elections are often controversial owing to attempts by contestants to explore all available means, including manipulation of voters list, to outwit their opponents and take the victory at all cost.

According to sources at the venue of the Ekiti state election, voting had commenced around noon and everything seemed to be going on smoothly until the aggrieved members stormed the venue, snatched the ballot boxes and destroyed the canopy erected for their colleagues to relax after voting for candidates of their choice.

Interestingly, the disruption took place in the presence of security operatives deployed to the venue to maintain law and order, as well as the very senior officers of the union, including the B Zone (Southwest) Vice President, Cosmos Oni, his secretary and Chairmen and secretaries of Oyo, Osun and Ogun States.

Apparently disappointed by the conducts of his members, Oni was said to have strongly condemned the act, insisting that there were better ways of expressing their displeasure in such situation.

Other members of the union scampered for safety when the situation almost got out of hand.

Meanwhile, the zonal leadership of the union had constituted a five-member Caretaker Committee to steer the ship of the NUJ state council in the interim.

This became necessary since the last executive council led by Laolu Omisilade had been dissolved ahead of the election.

The committee, headed by Amos Ogunrinde of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, will be in the saddle for next three months during which it is expected that all issues would have been resolved and an acceptable election would have taken place to form a new executive council for the State.

Nigerian tax systems too exploitative – Abiola-Peller

Tax System

A business mogul, Shina Abiola-Peller, has traced low investment in Nigeria’s tourism sector to multiple taxation, describing the nation’s tax system as being too exploitative.

Abiola-Peller, who delivered a lecture at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council on Tuesday, recommended review and harmonization of taxes among tiers of government in Nigeria as surest way of encouraging businesses, including tourism.

Entitled ‘Harnessing the tourism alternative for development in a challenged economy’, the lecture dwelled on the opportunities in the tourism sector and how they could be tapped.

“Multiple taxation and lack of clear government policy direction, the tax man in Nigeria is  more concerned about IGR growth than the growth of business concern, now I believe everyone should pay their fair share of tax but some of what goes on Nigeria borders on extortion,” he said.

Apart from excessive taxes, the lecturer also said there are other factors affecting the growth of tourism sector.

These, according to him, include policy summersault, infrastructural decay and poor security.

Abiola-Peller said the sector has the potentials to contribute immense to the growth of the nation’s GDP and address the unemployment problems ravaging the country.

He called for seriousness on the part of the governments at all levels and citizens’ involvement in the development of tourism.