Campus Journalists Elect New Executives, Samuel Ajala Emerges President

Samuel Ajala, a final year student of the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, has been elected President of the National Union Of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) in Nigeria.

Ajala polled 88 votes to defeat his opponent, Abdulbasit Abdulazeez who had five votes to clinch the position.

NUCJ is a body that governs all student-directed press bodies in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

The election which was conducted online was held on Saturday, Jan. 23 between the hours of 9 am and 12 pm.

According to the electoral committee, 124 voters were registered while 93 people cast their votes.

The following were elected into other positions: Eze Glory; Vice President, Uchenna Igwe; National Secretary, Yahaya Nurudeen; Publicity Secretary and Alawode Vindication; Publicity Secretary II, Abiola Precious; Financial Secretary.

Oluwatobiloba Odeyinka emerged as the Union’s South West Zonal Coordinator and Emme Emmanuel; North East zonal coordinator.

Speaking during the inauguration on Sunday, the electoral committee chairman, Uthman Samad commended his team for the conduct of the election.

He outlined the challenges the electoral committee went through for the virtual election.

“It was not something easy to do, we expected that the election would hold last year but the pandemic happened and we were looking for a better way to do it. The electoral team later came up with the idea of online election.

“It wasn’t easy, we were constrained about the fund, we had fewer funds to work with and at the beginning, people were not turning up and it seemed like it won’t be possible.

“Another issue is choosing a platform to conduct the election, we know that a lot of people might play funny and we tried to be very honest as much as possible and with that, we looked for a platform that will hold everyone accountable and we later went for the one that we used and it was okay,” he added.

The outgoing President of NUCJ, Ibrahim Adeyemi in a statement commended the electoral committee for the successful conduct of the historical election.

“Good successorship itches the mind of every good leader. Ever since we constituted the electoral committee I have really been worried about who will take up the mandate of our labour. And to see this fantastic outcome, I am happy.

“Our election today signifies a salient space in the story of Students journalism in Nigeria and it gives a flicker of hope that campus journalism still stands on a solid rock of progress.

“For the first time, we staged an online election peacefully and came up with the most credible outcome ever — many had thought this would fail, ” he said.

He urged the new elected President and other executives to work on repositioning the union to greater heights.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the president-elect, Ajala Samuel for his zeal and passion for making it to this level of victory. It’s not easy, not in any way similar to other unions. It’s the quality you possess that took you to this stage. Keep the effort and never relent.”

“More congratulations to other executives elected, I know you deserve what you won and I trust your ability in discharging your duties. National Union of Campus Journalists, Nigeria is a union with glorious pride, it’s my hope that you keep the glory active, ” he added.

The newly elected President, Mr Ajala in a statement thanked the Almighty God for his achievement. He explained that although it was not an easy task, he is excited that his vision has become a reality.

He also thanked the electoral committee for the successful conduct of the election.

“Distinguished penpushers, I want to sincerely appreciate you all for voting me to steer the affairs of the union for the next one year.

“The past few weeks has been a moment of getting to relate and interact with campus Journalists all over Nigeria to share the vision of this administration. Through our conversations, I have been able to understand the challenges and peculiarities of each region. With this, my administration will work to ensure we proffer solutions to some of the challenges and continue to spread the gospel of campus journalism.

“I also want to appreciate the electoral committee for the peaceful conduct of the historic online election.

“Thanks to UCJ FUOYE for discovering me. Thanks to Premium Times and PTCIJ for creating a platform for me to grow. I believe we can make NUCJ great again. We hope to create a good legacy that will last NUCJ for the next decade,” he said.

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Abiodun Jamiu

Abiodun is an investigations reporter at HumAngle. His works focus on the intersection of public policy and development, conflict and humanitarian crisis, climate and environment. He was a 2022 Solution Journalism Fellow with Nigeria Health Watch under its Solution Journalism Africa initiative project.

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