The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has thrown its weight behind those moving for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), presently before the National Assembly.
This was contained in a communiqué the union issued at the end its National Executive Council (NEC), meeting held in Gombe, Gombe state on April 29 and attended by the 36 states council and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to a statement made available to newsmen and signed by the National Secretary of the Union, Shuaibu Usman Leman, the Union urged the National Assembly to ensure quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB in order to stabilize the oil and gas sector. It also urged them to maintain two separate regulatory bodies for the industry.
It would be recalled that the Petroleum Industry Bill has suffered set-backs in the hands of three separate National Assemblies dating back to Olusegun Obasanjo era as President.
Regional undertones, resulting to brickbats, has thwarted efforts for the non passage of the Bill seen by many stakeholders as the way out of the thorny problems bedeviling the Petroleum industry.
“The NUJ had to put tribal sentiments aside and speak out in one voice on the need to take a stand on the petroleum industry Bill.
“Though the NUJ is made up of Chapters that spread across the six geo-political zones, the interest of the generality of Nigerians came first in the Union’s decision to back the quick passage of the PIBill. Remember, we as a body is apolitical, so it was easy for us to easily reach a consensus on the matter, we also appeal to members of the National Assembly to tow this line and see that the Bill becomes an Act before the expiration of the Eight Assembly.
By so doing they would have etched their names in gold in the annals of our political history”. Leman disclosed to our reporter.
The Union also gave a 14 day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, is given a 14day-ultimatum to arrest and bring to book killers of a radio journalist, Famous Giobara who was gruesomely murdered in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State recently. The Union also demands that the security agencies should re-open case files of all journalists who had been murdered in the country including Dele Giwa, Bagauda James Kaltho, and others. SPENPUSHER.M