Makinde, ex-federal lawmaker, Ibadan indigenes, others task journalists on nation-building

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Monsurat Sunmonu, the President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Prince Yemisi Adeaga, and a business mogul, Bamidele Samson, have tasked journalists in Nigeria embrace developmental journalism that will build and not destroy the country.

They gave the charge in their separate remarks at the opening of the 2021press week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, which was held at the union’s secretariat, Iyaganku, Ibadan on Monday.

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Governor Makinde, who was awarded the ‘Best Media-Friendly Governor in Pacesetter’s History’, for fulfilling the campaign promises that he made before he was elected governor of the state in 2019, was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun.

His words: “I promised to reposition Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), we did it and makes it solely owned by Oyo State. Our healthcare facilities were comatose before we came on board. But we have fixed over 100 primary healthcare centres. Another 100 will be ready before the end of the year 2022. We promised free education and quality healthcare services and we have done them.

“We have also repositioned an unprecedented number of infrastructures, including opening up of new roads. Notable amongst these are the Iseyin-Oyo Road, Ibadan-Iseyin Road, and many township roads. By the time we complete the township roads, the economy will improve in those towns. When you are reporting please be objective and professional.

“Be objective, fair and balanced in your reports. We are not saying you should be supporting us but reporting on issues. We shouldn’t report on sentiment. I am very happy, my boss is very happy and we cherish this award. We will continue to do our best in repositioning our state for the better.

Sunmonu, in her remarks, said: “Press are the first contact. It is whatever they say that people will be carrying everywhere. I am your friend and I can assure you that we will always be there for you.”

The President-General of CCII, Adeaga urged members of the union to support the executive of the union to achieve more of their lofty dreams in line with the aims of the founding fathers of the union.

A patron of the union in the state and business mogul, Samson urged journalists in the state to continue writing in support of the national development, rather than promoting sectional interests.

He said; “Journalists don’t retire. You must wake up to the challenges of the country. We depend on you for the betterment of Nigeria as the fourth estate of the realm. When Christians are doing events, you are expected to attend.

“When Muslims are holding their events, you are expected to be there. When Sango and Oya worshippers are doing their event you are expected to be there. Correct it when things are not working out. Write good reports and publish for national development.”

The NUJ chairman in the state Ademola Babalola commended the supports of members of the union, saying despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Union under him has continued to record tremendous achievements.

“By next year, we are going to be more aggressive on training and retraining of journalists. In the last year, we are able to achieve what we have not achieved many years ago, I meant the Journalists Estate. It is our legacy project and encourages more members and leaders to subscribe for the land.”

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