By Dele Alake
The last Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) was an epochal milestone in the evolution of the journalism profession in Nigeria.
An event that witnessed the election of new officers of the Guild to guide the affairs of the organization for the next two years, it is most gratifying that the outcome was successful and rancor-free despite the intensity of the contest for the various positions competed for.
On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), I congratulate the newly elected President of the Guild, Mr Eze Anamba, Editor of the Vanguard newspaper and wish him and other newly elected officials of the guild a most fulfilling and productive tenure in office.
By its peaceful and rancor-free conduct of elections to elect its new officers, the NGE has sent a resounding message to the larger Nigerian polity that elections for desired offices can be intensely competed for without degenerating into bitterness, acrimony and needless malice.
In this regard, Mr President commends those who lost out in the elections at various levels such as Mr Bolaji Adebiyi of This Day newspaper for accepting the outcome and pledging support for the winners. This is a light that the NGE is showing that the rest of us may find the way to a mature, tolerant, stable and sustainable democratic culture.
It is of the utmost importance that the various unions in the newspaper industry such as the NGE, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) imbibe the ethos of internal democracy in support of the professional integrity for the benefit of good governance, stability and sustainability development in Nigeria.
The NGE has, in this regard, made a strong statement for the Nigerian media as a worthy exemplar. But then, elections are not held within the unions in our profession just for the sake of holding elections to appoint new officers of associational offices.
Rather, the larger picture is to ensure at all times that we place the profession in a prime position to continually fulfill its constitutional obligation of serving as a watchdog of the people in checking the excesses of government and promoting the greatest good of the greatest number of our people.
The history of the Nigerian media has, since its epochal role in the struggle against colonial imperialism, been intimately intertwined with the fate of the Nigerian state and its people.
The press was active in the struggle against military dictatorship in post-colonial Nigeria and this opposition to autocracy was particularly exemplified in the fierce opposition of patriotic media practitioners to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola. It is impossible to write the history of the democratic benefits we have enjoyed since the commencement of this dispensation in 1999 without emblazoning the heroic contributions of patriotic sections of the media in gold.
But President Tinubu insists that the challenges ahead of the media in playing its role towards strengthening our democracy, keeping power continually in check as well as promoting good, responsible, and accountable governance are greater than the paths traversed before. He pledges the support of his administration in collaboration with the media towards achieving these lofty objectives in the best interest of our country.
Once again, the President congratulates the newly elected officials of the NGE and wishes them a most successful and productive tenure in office.
Mr Dele ALAKE
Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy
June 17, 2023.BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis