A former Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zone D, Comrade Tims Ejigah, has described the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Smart Adeyemi, as a politician with a character baggage who lacks capacity to win election for any political party.
Ejigah, who was one of Adeyemi’s closest allies during his days as NUJ President and all through the time he began his journey into national politics, disclosed that the Senator had the habit of using and dumping those who assist him, adding that he had no positive records with the NUJ that he served as President for two terms.
The veteran journalist, who spoke to Kogi journalists at the NUJ secretariat in Lokoja, expressed surprise that Adeyemi had joined the Kogi Governorship race, stressing that if elections were to be conducted today, and only journalists were to vote, over 80 per cent would vote against the senator.
According to him, he will only be wasting the ticket of any political party that makes the mistake of making him their candidate.
“Whichever party he is struggling to get their ticket, he would be wasting that ticket if he emerges candidate. I am not God, but I say this based on his antecedents of use and dump tactics,” the former NUJ VP said.
“Coming to our profession, if Smart Adeyemi wants journalists, serving, retired or veterans as we call ourselves, to vote for him for anything, he cannot have majority of votes. That I can tell you. He cannot get majority of practising members or members of the union to mobilise for anything he wants. And I am happy most of us have our PVCs,” he added.
Recounting how Adeyemi emerged as NUJ President and how he allegedly cut ties with those that started the journey with him, Comrade Ejigah said, “I was one of the arrow heads of Smart Adeyemi’s activism which culminated into him emerging as the National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). It all started from Ibadan in 1997, where he contested as Vice President of the union, Zone D and I also contested the position of National Auditor of the union.
“Every Journalist in the country knows my loyalty and support for him. I want to say without any fear of contradiction that our former president (Adeyemi) is not the type that keeps relationships and I want to say that most of us who were his foot soldiers like the late Ndagene Aku who became NUJ president, Waheed Odusile, former NUJ President, still alive; Victor Oluwadamire, Chair, NUJ Oyo State Council, Dr Effiong Okon, National Officer/National Trustee, when I was National Auditor; Fred Fabo, former National Deputy President; Abia Onyike, former National Deputy President, and Amos Dunya et al; all would say that the man behaves as if we were not the ones that festered his nets, including a very powerful NUJ unionist, Funke Fadugba.
“This is to give you a background of our support and loyalty to this young man, today, a distinguished senator.”
He said he was one of those who advised the senator, towards his exit as NUJ President, to go to the Senate or House of Representatives instead of aspiring to be the governor with Governor Audu as incumbent because he was a beneficiary of Audu’s governance in Kogi State and that, as God would have it, he became a senator.
Stressing the allegation that Adeyemi uses and dumps helpers, Ejigah stated, “The man is somebody who, when he wants you to do anything for him, can stoop to whatever level to get that thing done and then turn his back after. Chairman, you once said there are some people who will drink the palm wine and break the keg, so that the keg would not be available for the next person. He fits into that analogy.
“You would remember the various campaigns of calumny by Smart Adeyemi against Audu in the very eyes of the man before he died, calling him emperor and all. How would you do a thing like that for someone that you benefitted from very well.
“You would also recall how the current administration of (Governor) Yahaya Bello of APC recruited him from the PDP and gave him a third term in the Senate. Are they still singing Hosanna?”
Narrowing down to the media profession, the veteran journalist noted, “He (Adeyemi) has no signature in our secretariat. I remember anytime he wants to do anything, he runs here to mobilise our colleagues and when I watch you, I laugh. Point blank, I expected that what Mohammed Garba has done in Kano, he should have been the first person to do it.
“Mohammed Garba, former President of NUJ, two terms like himself, has a plaza to the glory of Kano NUJ. This man (Adeyemi) has no kitchenette here. I don’t think NUJ members in Kogi State, practising or retired, would give him support in what he is looking for. Charity, they say, begins at home. Everywhere you go, you see the signatures of past presidents in their local councils. You would see a state assembly legislator’s project in the Oyo State Secretariat and so on. Where is that of our former president? An illustrious son of Kogi State?”
“If per adventure, he gets the ticket of APC, it would be an exercise in futility. I’m not God,” he reiterated.
The NUJ ex-Vice President, however, admonished Adeyemi to retrace his steps and ensure that he starts by redeeming his image within his NUJ family before thinking of governing Kogi State.