Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) to continue to ensure fair and objective reportage of national issues that would promote socio-economic development and national cohesion.
This was just as the governor assured that his administration would continue to partner with the Guild in line with its determination to make positive difference in the lives of all Lagosians.
Governor Ambode made the call on Thursday, at the commissioning of Editors’ House, located at 24, Mojidi Street, Ikeja, saying the NGE, just like other professional and trade union bodies, held strategic stakes in the healthy development of the nation.
The governor, therefore, tasked the Guild to ensure that more attention was devoted to issues that would assist government to ease the current hardship being experienced by the people and also ensure protection of lives and property.
“It is no longer news that our nation’s economy is in recession amidst other challenges that demand the patriotism and nationalistic spirit of all of us. Specifically for members of the Guild, as gatekeepers and moulders of opinion in our nation, you owe it as a national duty to ensure fair and objective reportage of issues with eyes on the promotion of socio-economic development and national cohesion.
“The practice of journalism and mass communication in this present time should be anchored on the best global journalistic ethos and must be moderated by local realities and national interest,” Governor Ambode said.
Governor Ambode, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule said, “We would appreciate your continued reportage of our activities accurately and objectively for the education, enlightenment and mobilisation of support of our people, especially as they relate to our policies and programmes in the years ahead,” he said.
The governor, who described the Editors’ House as a new chapter that would ultimately earn the Guild respect and due recognition in the comity of professional bodies in the nation, urged members to make good use of the facility to protect and promote national unity.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that since the Guild represented a unique authority in the media industry, it had become imperative for members to play significant role in the process of nation-building.
The minister, who was represented by the Director-General, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, advised the members of the Guild to play an active role in the ongoing reforms in the country, especially with the widening space the media had continued to enjoy, of late.
He advised the Guild to find a way of accommodating the different genres of journalism, being practised in the country, into the profession, noting that such would go a long way in boosting the profession, while at the same time bringing order into the industry.
‘Never before have we seen the media space taken over by all kinds of people, interlopers, charlatans, bloggers and Cyber Hyenas. I think there is that need to find a way of making them to be part of us,’ he stated.
He also advised members of the Guild on the need to go full throttle and play their watchdog role; since they now have a secretariat where such activities could be co-ordinated.
Earlier, President of the NGE, Mrs Funke Egbemode, in her welcome address, paid tribute to the founding fathers and past presidents of the Guild, who contributed largely to the realisation of the project, saying that a dream of 55 years had become a reality.
She also thanked both the Federal and state governments and other institutions that contributed immensely to see the project to reality, saying that the House would serve as not only a secretariat for the Guild, but a rallying point for its members.
Dignitaries present at the event include, former Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, Peter Obi, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Deputy Governor of Adamawa, Mr Martins Babale; Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, who represented the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina; representatives of Governors of Delta, Osun and Akwa Ibom, distinguished editors and chief executives of various media organisations, among others.