April 20, 2024


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The following is a humble summation of a longer citation in honour of the FOREMOST VETERAN LABOUR LEADER OF EDO STATE COUNCIL OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ)

Comrade Dele Ailemen returned immediately from the premiere and original Nigeria Institute of Journalism ( NIJ), Lagos where he served as the Student’s Union President to commence the Rejuvenation of the affairs of the defunct Bendel NUJ in the early 1980s .

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Comrade Dele Ailemen served as the Secretary and later Chairman of the Bendel Broadcasting Service ( BBS ) chapel of the union.

Understanding the essence of wider professional and labour activism, the budding labour leader, at about 25 years old, inspired the membership of the union state-wide to inject elevating energy into the union.

He later served as two-term Secretary and consequently as two-term Chairman of the Union beginning from 1985.

At about 27 years old, Comrade Dele Ailemen was the youngest Chairman of the NUJ in the country and a well respected co-chair of the National Progressive Caucus within the Union, helping in the construction of a more vibrant agenda for the Union.

Just as he was launching enviable initiatives for professional development of members at home and forging a relationship with the then highly revered UNILAG Mass Communications Department to give special certificate programmes to members , Ailemen was also vigorously engaged in sending members overseas for various advanced training programmes.

Bendel NUJ members were selected for educational opportunities in addition to their fully paid tuition and given other allowances including clothing.

Comrade Ailemen argued that such members must look well taken care of on their various campuses because they were an extension of the pride of the union.

It should be recalled that the years in which Comrade Dele Ailemen served were all within the military era , it meant that the protection and welfare of Journalists across the now Edo and Delta States was his responsibility.

Fighting the terror of military -initiated Decrees was a major effort by Comrade Ailemen as the younger and older generation of Journalists looked up to him for inspiration.

Whenever the military struck against Journalists, the defunct Bendel NUJ devised a strategy to keep members hope strong and alive.

From playing a leadership role in resisting the infamous Decree 4 to ensuring that the assassinated journalist, Dele Giwa, was given a befitting burial in his home state , this uncommon leader was always focused on matters of consequence to the Fourth Estate of the Realm.

In the period when there was no organized voice of political opposition, Conrade Dele Ailemen was part of the progressive activists who gave life to the idea that progressive labour organizing must take on larger and higher societal issues.

He served as a co-chairman of the Bendel NLC Committee for Information and Mobilization.

After leaving Bendel NUJ, Dele Ailemen traveled overseas, building Peoples Solidarity Commitees in Europe and America.

Comrade Ailemen has neither rested nor relented in the efforts for the strengthening of the solidarity of the working class .

Our honoree has especially displayed unquestionable commitment to the flourishing of present Edo NUJ.

During the deep crisis that nearly tore the NUJ apart some years ago , Comrade Dele Ailemen in his capacity as the Chairman of Committee of Former NUJ Chairmen, invested significant time and huge personal resources to restore peace in the union. This, he did without publicity of any sort.

For his unwavering commitment , magnificent personal sacrifices and indefatigable loyalty to the Nigeria Union of Journalists , the Edo State Council of the Union decided, during her 2022 Press Week held from December 14- 17, 2022, to honor you with a Certificate of Service, for your LIFETIME SERVICES AND DUTY to the NUJ as a foremost and selfless Leader, catering for the welfare of Journalists anywhere in the world, and most specially in Nigeria.


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