At the weekend, the National Union of Campus Journalists, (NUCJ) amidst the reality of the ravaging COVID-19, elected into offices its new national executives. Upon the Inaugurations on Sunday the new officials now being led by the immediate past Public Relations Officer of the Union, Ajala Samuel, took over the mantle of leadership from the immediate past President of the Union, Ibrahim Adeyemi Ola-Rotimi.
This year’s electoral process was a historic one being that against the electoral conventions of the union, for the first time, the Union conducted elections virtually.
Subsequently, the winners of the historic elections had on Sunday been sworn-in. To catch the glimpse of their minds, our reporter, BELLO MUHAMMAD, also virtually trailed the new officials to their Direct Messages (DMs) and engaged them on what motivated them to run for their respective positions.
In this interview, the new officials of Avant Garde Administration (being the official mantra) shared their individual motivations to mount their respective new podiums of leadership; what the Union members should be expecting and how each one of them would progressively contribute their quota in rejuvenating the existence of the Union.
Note: This interview is a fusion of different interviews separately conducted on the new officials. Enjoy…
- Interview with the new President, Ajala Samuel
UCJ-UNILORIN: Can we meet you, Sir?
Pres. Ajala: My name is Samuel Ajala. I am a final year student of Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, History and International Studies department.
I am a freelance Journalist with Premium Times and Executive Director of Develop Africa Now Initiative (DANI).
UCJ-UNILORIN: Very well, Mr President. What inspired you to run for the office of the President of NUCJ?
Pres. Ajala: The dream to serve NUCJ didn’t just start today. It’s something I have been nursing for the past three years. I ran for the office because of the passion and desire to reposition the union to greater heights. I want to see an NUCJ where members are holding school management and community leaders accountable to promote the interest of students . I want to see an NUCJ where campus Journalists are key contributors to national development. I want to see an NUCJ where my members are key stakeholders in the society when it comes to youth development. Most importantly I want to create a legacy for the next generation of campus Journalists in Nigeria.
UCJ-UNILORIN: I believe you are aware of the challenges that come with heading an administration. How do you intend to manage these challenges without affecting the productivity of your office?
Pres. Ajala: I think one of the major challenges we have had in the past is funding. My administration is already working on how we will start generating funds internally. We will also look into partnership and collaboration with some Organizations to run some of our projects.
Aside from that , we are working to ensure information dissemination gets to the grassroot as that has been a challenge. We will tackle the challenges facing every region based on the peculiarity and some considerations. We will surely get NUCJ working again where the gospel of campus Journalism will be spread across every nook and cranny of Nigeria.
UCJ-UNILORIN: So, how do you feel about taking this position and what would you have done if you haven’t won this election?
Pres. Ajala: I want to thank God for this achievement. I feel very excited. Sincerely, it was not an easy task for me because the vision to serve this great union started a few years ago and now it has come to pass. I invested quality time, energy and resources in the campaign and the support I received is really overwhelming.
I really want to appreciate every campus Journalist, friends and mentors who have provided support for me in this Journey. We hope to create a good legacy that will last NUCJ for the next decade.
I never thought I was going to lose the election for once because I knew the penpushers were solidly with me. My achievement as a Publicity Secretary in the past administration also boosted my morale.
UCJ-UNILORIN: Lastly, What do you have to say to those who are looking up to you?
Pres. Ajala: All I will say is focus, be consistent and intentional with anything you do.
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- Interview with the new NUCJ Vice President, Eze Glory Chikadibia
UCJ-UNILORIN: Good day. Can we meet you, ma’am?
VP Eze: My name is Eze, Glory Chikadibia. A 400 level student of Law from the University of Ilorin, President of the Union of Campus Journalists, Unilorin.
UCJ-UNILORIN: As the vice president elect, you will serve in a supportive role to the president. How do you plan on creating a positive working relationship with the president while ensuring effective communication with the members?
VP Eze: Simple!! Teamwork and loyalty does the magic. As the Vice-president, I owe an allegiance to the President and the team as a whole. Not just allegiance, I owe them a duty to be functional at all times.
UCJ-UNILORIN: What motivated you to run for the office of the vice president, NUCJ?
VP Eze: It’s the believe in a dream; that is, a greater and much more better NUCJ. I want to very much be a part of this shared vision and mission.
UCJ-UNILORIN: what would you have done if you haven’t won this election?
VP Eze: Nothing. In life, you win some and lose some. It’s all part of a greater plan for our lives. So, I’ll have just accepted it as fate, while making sure to still remain loyal to the cause of NUCJ.
UCJ-UNILORIN: what do you have to say to those who are looking up to you?
VP Eze: I can simply say, open yourself up to opportunities. You may be scared of the outcome, but when you do not venture on a journey, you can never know the outcome. Also believe in yourself.
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- Interview with the new National Secretary of NUCJ, Uchenna Igwe
UCJ-UNILORIN: Good day. Can we meet you, please?
Nat. Sec. Igwe: I’m Uchenna Igwe, a final year student of the department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Uyo. I’m a campus journalist and newly-elected National Secretary of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) Nigeria.
UCJ-UNILORIN: What inspired you to run for the office of the national secretary, NUCJ?
Nat. Sec. Igwe: My aspiration for the position was inspired by my previous work as the Union’s Zonal Secretary in the South-South region. The role provided me with a platform to serve and an opportunity to contribute to the revival of campus journalism in the South-South region. Within that tenure, we were able to increase number of chapters from two to about ten, with trainings and other capacity development programmes for campus journalists in our region. So, along the line, I was motivated to vie for National Secretary by the desire to replicate this regional success and extend it across the country.
UCJ-UNILORIN: How do you plan on discharging your duties that it won’t in any way affect your studies?
Nat. Sec. Igwe: The truth is that it has been practically impossible to have a 50-50 balance. But over time, I have grown and learnt to manage my school time properly to accommodate other interests. Apart from my journalism engagements, I’ve also been actively involved with Enactus (formerly SIFE), the Nigeria Red Cross Detachment, as well as the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ). I have always given my best and this new role at the NUCJ will not be any different.
UCJ-UNILORIN: How will you increase the awareness of the significance of your position to a wide range of the union’s members?
Nat. Sec. Igwe: Awareness is a people-oriented activity. As such we’ll work on getting a comprehensive membership database for our union, which will avail us details of our members in chapters across the country. This will make reaching out to them easier and more effective.
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- Interview with the new Publicity Secretary of NUCJ, Nurudeen Akewesola
UCJ-UNILORIN: Good day. Can we meet you, sir?
PRO Akewusola: I’m Nurudeen Akewushola, 400 level student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. I happen to be the newly elected publicity secretary 1
UCJ-UNILORIN: What inspired you to run for the office of the publicity secretary, NUCJ?
PRO Akewesola: Thank you!
NUCJ has been the most unified organization that unites the voices of all Campus Journalists across Nigeria. My intention to run for the publicity secretary is borne out of my passion for Journalism itself and for the development of Campus Journalism across Nigeria.
During the last administration, I worked under the former president and we were able to make some impacts which are obvious. This time around too, I hope to be part of the progressive terrain in order to make the Union greater.
UCJ-UNILORIN: Being elected, what will you as a leader bring to promote the growth of NUCJ?
PRO Akewusola: When we talk about publicity in this century, the role of new media/social media cannot be overemphasized. My plan is to ensure that all our social media pages are revived. We will try to ensure that our social media pages are active and we engage all our members across the country through these platforms.
I have been on this before together with the president-elect during the last administration and I hope to keep the fire burning now that I’m totally in charge.
UCJ-UNILORIN: How do you feel about taking this position and what would you have done if you haven’t won the election?
PRO Akewusola: (laughs) Of course, I’m happy because I’m not the most suitable. I just receive grace from God almighty and of course I will ensure that I utilize the privilege to serve the Union as much as I can with total commitment.
It’s not until one is an executive before they can serve the Union. Even if I lose it doesn’t mean I’m not part of the Union again and as far as I’m a member, it’s my obligation to serve the Union whether I’m Executive or not.
UCJ-UNILORIN: Lastly, What do you have to say to those who are looking up to you?
PRO Akewusola: I would like to thank all my fellow pen pushers for entrusting us with this responsibility, we will try as much as we can to discharge our responsibilities to the best of our abilities and we won’t let them down by God’s grace.
UCJ-UNILORIN: Thanks for your time, Sir.