Buhari praises media at Editors Convention

Posted by News Express | 26 April 2015 | 2,577 times

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The President-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd), yesterday at the 2015 Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors held at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, commended the Nigerian media for the role they played in the successful conduct of the just concluded general elections.

Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President-elect, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, said the success of the election had proved all doom predictions on the country wrong. Delivering Buhari’s goodwill message at the opening ceremony, Osinbajo explained that the press was a very powerful tool in molding public opinion as well as promotion of effective participation in politics.

“There is no need rehashing the importance of the media in a democracy. There is no government that can function without the role of the media. Also, I am yet to see any political party that does not employ the service of the media.

“The role of the media in promoting popular participation cannot be over-emphasized. The 2015 general election came with a lot of doom predictions. But thank God, the election has come and gone,” he said.

He also used the occasion to further seek the support of the media, especially the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), who he described as the gatekeepers, for the incoming administration with the ultimate aim of promoting good governance.

“While I thank you for the role you played in bringing about change, I also like to urge you to continue your role in the onerous task of promoting good governance,” he said.

In her own remark, the Minister of Information, Senator Particia Akwashiki, challenged the NGE to be orderly in the conduct of its election for the new executive.

The representative of the minister, Alhaji Garba Bello, stressed that the exercise must be devoid of the kind of irregularities that characterized the recent election of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC). He equally charged the union to ensure that the incoming government is professionally reported.

Similarly, a former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh, in his earlier message to the NGE, said it had become imperative for the media to focus more attention on the constitutional role of holding public officers accountable to the people as clearly spelt out in the constitution. He described those who compromised their duties as gatekeepers for pecuniary benefits as a disgrace to the journalism profession. The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) also emphaised the need to make training of journalists to be more relevant to the performance of their duty as the watchdogs of the society.

The President of the NGE and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the Sun Publishing Company Limited, Mr. Femi Adesina, while declaring the convention open, described the occasion as a period for stock-taking.

He outlined the major achievements of the outgoing executive. These, according to him, included promotion of welfare of members, training and retraining of editors, realization of over N200 million for building of national secretariat of the union, as well as proposed raising of endowment funds for distressed members, among others.

Adesina gave the outgoing executive a pat on the back for a job well done, saying“I daresay this executive has served the body of Nigeria editors to the best of our abilities.”

He disclosed that NGE had so far facilitated training of 100 editors in the last two years. This is in addition to the funding of four editors on foreign training in capacity building, while two others are also billed to be in Bacelona and Washington respectively.

The host Governor, Babatunde Fashola, was represented by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba.

Dignitaries in attendance included: Mrs Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo, Gbenga Adefaye, former NGE President, former Group Managing Director of Daily Times, Tola Adeniyi, Ms Comfort Obi, Alhaji Garba Shehu, among others.

*Adapted from Sunday SUN. Photo shows Buhari


Source: News Express

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