By Emmanuel Adeniran

Wednesday, the 20th day of December, 2023, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi of the Progress 100.5FM, Radio Nigeria, Ado-Ekiti emerged new Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Council to continue the good works of his predecessor, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, popularly referred to as ‘The Lion’.

The emergence of Kayode Babatuyi as the new Council Chairman for the NUJ in Ekiti State has finally become a reality through the grace of God as he himself stated that it’s not by hard work, tenacity, resilience, skills, ability to multi-task, resoluteness, enduring, focusing, his ever can do posture or friendliness and the capacity he displayed during the six years administration of the Comrade Lion Rotimi Ojomoyela led Executives, but humility through God’s grace has made him the number one journalist in Ekiti.

One person that must be greatly commended for discovering such a wonderful and a well talented Kayode Babatuyi is the immediate past Chairman of the Council, Comrade Lion Rotimi Ojomoyela. The combination of the outgone Chairman of Ekiti NUJ, with the personality of Comrade Kayode Babatuyi, the brand new Chairman of the Council gave birth to the present enviable state of Ekiti NUJ.

Many things have been said about the journey so far, that is, when the duo of Rotimi Ojomoyela and Kayode Babatuyi came on board to steer the ship of the Council for a period of six years which has now finally terminated on a very outstanding note.

The success story of Rotimi Ojomoyela led Executives without mincing words didn’t just come without some challenges but all the challenges were surmounted through absolute courage, discipline, cooperation, openness, transparency, sincerity, accountability, determination and the spirit of oneness with which the Executives worked and related together as an indivisible and unbreakable team.

X-raying the purposeful regime of Rotimi Ojomoyela in office, findings have revealed how a total of over 400 Journalists within the state were trained on different workshops and seminars.

Also, the Certificate of Occupancy that the Rotimi Ojomoyela-led Executives was able to secure for the Union is noteworthy and it’s of no doubt a great feat in the history of the NUJ in Ekiti State. Or is it the completion and official commissioning of a three blocks of classrooms by his administration that we want to talk about?

When the Rotimi Ojomoyela-led administration came on board six years ago, the International Institute of Journalism, Ado Ekiti Campus was begging for facility to use for lectures until the team was able to successfully facilitate the relocation of the Institute from its temporary site to the present permanent site that has now become the pride of every journalist within and outside Ekiti State.

Other laudable achievements of the Rotimi Ojomoyela-led Executives included permanent employment of about 30 casuals at the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, ensuring that journalist became the General Manager of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, while efforts are being made to see that the Ministry of Information equally have journalist as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.

Creation of the Department of Information Services for members of the local governments and council development areas to create platform for members who are in the service of the local Government to get to the peak of their careers.

Renovation of the NUJ Secretariat through the support of the former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Dayo Oladebeye and Reverend Tunde Afe as well as the two Air Conditioners fixed to the mini secretariat hall of the Council by the present administration of Ekiti State, Governor Biodun Oyebanji. Building of canteen to enable members have access to good meal. Reconciliation of all aggrieved members of the union. Conducting the most peaceful, credible and single line up election. Political appointments for members. Building recognition and respect for the union through integrity.

The achievements of the outgone leadership of the Council are not limited to the above listed ones but to safe space and time, that’s why I mentioned just a few of the numerous achievements.

Meanwhile the new Chairman of the Council, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi has pledged his readiness to ensure that himself and his team will try their possible best to consolidate on their predecessors’ achievements and even surpass them.

The major target he reeled out during his electioneering campaigns visit to all the Chapels of NUJ and at the Manifesto night which was held a night before the election was to build an ultramodern NUJ Press Centre, improvement of the general welfare of all members of the Union in Ekiti State through inclusiveness, training and retraining of journalists in the State.

While speaking at the Inauguration of the new Executives, The new Chairman, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi narrated how he started his Journalism career as a SIWES student with Radio Nigeria as a young boy without knowing that he could ever become number one Journalist someday.

He expressed his joy that he is now among the 37 people to be addressed as an NUJ Chairman in the Country, courtesy of his credible leader under whom he served as State Secretary. He acknowledged that the privilege he has to become the NUJ Chairman was not because he was smart, hard working or clever but just by the grace of God.

He took enough of his time to respectfully appreciate Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela under whose tutelage he was trained and well equipped with the necessary tools to lead the Council with the support of other leaders of the Council in the State such as the Zone B Vice President, Comrade Ronke Samo, Comrade Akogun Tai Oguntayo and Alhaji Yaquob Popoola amongst others who are behind him becoming the current NUJ Chairman of Ekiti State.

Babatuyi equally appreciated Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela for playing a significant role of a father, mentor, role model, leader, companion, friend, gist mate, confidant and motivator all through the years he served under him as a Secretary.

According to the new Chairman, “What people thought they see or know about us is more than what they could imagine. You have done more than what a father could do for a son.

“I promise to remain loyal with or without NUJ affairs because I don’t want to see spirit. This is a lesson I have learnt and I will not depart from it as I take over from you.

“Sir, you left a shoe too big for me but I count on God and support from my people to fill the space around the shoe.

“You have set a high standard for Ekiti NUJ and I will strive hard to sustain this standard not minding how difficult it would be.

“Sir, you have achieved much even beyond people’s expectations, but I want to tell you that I will surpass your record by the grace of God.

‘I want to make you and every other leaders of this union proud!

“I won’t say anything about what I will be doing here, I have gone round chapels and I also delivered my blueprint at the Manifesto night. It’s time for action! Babatuyi pledged.

At the tale end of his inaugural speech, he swang into action immediately by announcing his first sets of appointments.

He constituted some Committees and read out names of Advisory Council members which included the immediate past Chairman, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, Yaquob Popoola, Bola Agbaje, Rotimi Feyisina and Yemisi Omotola. He said they will be meeting every month to assess the activities of the Union and provide necessary advice.

Other appointment he made was the Elders’ Council comprising the following members, Akogun Tai Oguntayo, Tunji Saliu, Ronke Samo, Tope Babalola and Idowu Ariwodola

The Elders Council according to the Chairman, will assist in resolving conflicts and sometimes act on issues that may result to crisis in the Union. Their meetings will hold quarterly at the expense of the union but can also meet beyond the statutory times if the need be.

Task Force Committee Against Quackery was also constituted, having the following people as members, Godwin Osubu, Ayo Adegbuyi, Olaniyi Alade, Yemi Olajutemu, Emmanuel Adeniran, Bidemi Sikiru and Bola Lawal.

Other appointees are; Bukola Adunwo as Ex – Officio 1, Olaniyi Alade as Chief of Staff to the Chairman,Yomi Ayeleso as Special Adviser on Trainings and Workshops, Rasaq Ibrahim as Personal Assistant and Special Adviser on Special Duties.

The new Chairman and his team have hit the ground running immediately they assumed office.

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