Death threat for Journalists over non-payment of salaries

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The proposed industrial action by the Editorial Staff of Compass Newspapers over alleged non-payment of outstanding three months salaries of the workers has taken a dangerous dimension, following a death threat letter sent to the union executive.

The threat letter forwarded to individual executive of the Newspapers Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists{NUJ} was captioned, 'A Serious Warning' written by a faceless group, said to the acting in defence of the publisher/management.

The warning message specifically warned the duo of Femi Shodunke{Chairman} and Nkechi Naeche{Secretary} alleging them to be the arrowhead calling for industrial action.

'This warning is for the Chairman, Nigerian Compass Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Femi Shodunke (a.k.a. Oluwo) and Secretary, Nkechi Naeche, the mouth running lady' the threat letter reads.

It added further 'This is just to warn you to desist from all efforts you are making to destroy Nigerian Compass, the newspapers owned by our leader, and fortunately by the grace of God the fantastic Governor of Ogun State, the Obalofin of Ijebuland, Otunba Gbenga Daniel'.

The faceless signatory of the letter stressed further that 'We are directing our message to both of you because from our investigations Femi Shodunke (a.k.a Oluwo) and Nkechi are the ones pushing for strike to ground the newspapers, apparently with the aim of embarrassing the Chief Promoter of Nigerian Compass'.

'Be warned that you are both under watch, though we are also keeping close tab on other members of the exco despite the fact that those ones are not really pushing for more action'.

'Be careful, as we are suspecting both of you may be under the push of some politicians/group of desperate people who are planning to embarrass the chief promoter. Should there be strike in Compass, both of you will see fire'the letter warned.

It also emphasised 'Remember, the Strike Force in Ogun State. We shall unleash our LIONS on you and they shall devour you. Go and ask Wale Adedayo! Go and ask Tunde Oladunjoye! They are in hiding now, can't come out to the public. Go and ask others who had raw deal in the hands of the strike force'.

The warning letter told the workers that their lives are in danger should 'you attempt to take journalists in Compass to strike over the problems (if any at all) that you are facing in the place'.

'You remember last week when we hack/broke into the email address of Femi Shodunke (alias Oluwo) to show him pepper with the information that we pushed out, apparently to show it came from him'.

'Remember the kidnapping of some journalists in Abia State, I mean your colleagues – Wahab Oba, Okonkwo and others' the writer{s} declared.

However, as at the time of this report, investigations revealed that, the grouse of the workers against management also include alleged non-remittance of pension fund, problem over cooperative money. Findings also revealed that the ugly development is now causing fear among the staffers.

When contacted, Femi Shodunke said, report had been made to the Chairman of the Company, Kola Oyefeso, and has 'assured us that no evil shall befall us' Shodunke said he wonders why it has become a sin to ask for legitimate rights and dues, adding that, a report would equally be lodge with the police, 'because of any future event'