By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday infuriated the National Executive and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, when he declined to come out to receive the members who thronged his Marina residence to present a letter of protest over the spate of killing of journalists to him.
The Governor, who was said to be chairing the weekly State Executive Council meeting, had earlier in the day excused himself from the meeting to attend the 31st Synod of the St.Saviour’s Anglican Church Tafawa Balewa Square, a stone throw from his house but, however, chose to keep the journalists out.
The NUJ members including top editors of national dailies across the nation and executive members of NUJ and National Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ), were furious that no executive council member of the state or top civil servant came out to receive them to conclude their protest rally in commemoration of the World Press Day.
They had earlier been informed by one of the Governorâ€™s aide that only few of the members would be entertained by the governor, a development that did not go down well with the members.
â€œDoesnâ€™t this state have a CPS (Chief Press Secretary) or a media officer to receive us on his behalf? He should not forget that he is only occupying that office for a while and would have to renew his mandate come 2011, this is just unacceptable, if he cannot spare just 15 minutes to receive usâ€, some of the union members lamented as they filed back to their various offices.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Opeyemi Bamidele, after two hours came out to inform the members that the governor would receive them in five minutes, however as at the time of filing this report(4.05p.m), the governor was yet to receive them.