By Simeon OSAJIE
There are indications that the National Headquarters of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja has taken over the half a century old premises of the Edo State Secretariat of the union.
The move may not be unconnected with the alleged plans by the State government to demolish the building located along No 1, Igbinedion Way formerly known as Reservation road in Benin City and convert it into a museum.
The takeover on Monday saw the NUJ National Headquarters inscribing the words, “This Building is a property of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, National Headquarters, Abuja”, on the perimeter fence of the Edo state Secretariat.
Although top Edo government officials earlier denied knowledge of the plot, they later admitted that the government is carrying out initial survey and study work on the NUJ Secretariat aimed at the preservation and protection of the ancient Benin walls and moats.
They admitted that this was being done in collaboration with the Federal government sponsored National Council of Museums and Monuments and the proposed Edo Museum for West Africa Arts, EMOWAA, belonging to the state government.
Unidentified government officials are daily thronging the Edo NUJ Secretariat premises with measuring tapes and photographic cameras carrying out all manners of measurements along with photographs.
Sources say that the Edo NUJ Secretariat stands on land donated by the Oba Akenzua II while the late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia as military governor of defunct Bendel State contributed to built the edifice.
Officials of the NUJ Edo State Secretariat who raised the alarm few weeks ago on the fate thag awaits their Secretariat, could not be reached for comments on the latest development.