By; ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The 2020 State Council election of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta has come and gone, but it has left some sour taste on the palate of most members of the union in the state and beyond.
The most bitter outcome being the discovery of some journalists in a chapel of the union in the state involved in certificate forgery. The credential screening committee in tandem with the Caretaker Committee had spotted an abnormality in the professional certificates purportedly issued the culprits by the International Institute of Journalism and had written immediately to the institution to clear the air on the issue.
As to be expected, the institution reacted almost immediately to the effect that there was gross forgery in the certificates presented to clear the members for the purpose of participating in the election. The statement added that only one of the certificates was genuine, while the rest were cloned, as all the four had the same identification reference number !
It is still a mystery why those found culpable for perpetrating the unethical act are still walking the streets free from arrest. Reports have it that one member of the caretaker committee that midwifed the free and fair election in the state has been accused of spotting out the culprits and has been receiving calls, threatening her life for daring to expose their surreptitious forgery.
It would be recalled that another forgery was reported by the Credential Screening Committee of the union in the state and had immediately disqualified all that were involved in the falsification and mutilation of official documents of the union. Reports also have it that the national body in Abuja had looked the other way by clearing the culprits to contest in the election, perhaps to provide a level playing ground for all the contestants in the election !
Now that the election has been concluded, there is the urgent need to revisit the said forgeries, particularly the issue of certificate forgery, and if found guilty of the offence, the culprits should be punished according to the law and the constitutional realities in the union to serve as a deterrent for other members who may be itching to perpetrate forgery of official documents in the union.