Adesina Returns as Guild of Editors President, Buhari, Fashola, Others Thank Media
The Editor-in-Chief of Sun newspapers, Mr. Femi Adesina, has been re-elected as the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. He is to lead the Guild in the next two years. Adesina was returned unopposed at the 2015 biennial convention of the Guild which held in Lagos by his colleagues most of whom described his tenure as the best the Guild had ever had.
The election which was adjudged by the editors as free, fair and credible saw many members of the previous executive return unopposed. However, the post of Secretary of the Guild was hotly contested between Mustapha Isa of Silverbird Television and Victoria Ibangha, former editor at Champion newspapers who polled 117 votes to Isa’s 103 votes.
The highpoint of the election was the maturity, patience and camaraderie displayed by the editors who by their action showed an honourable path for Nigerian politicians whom they had consistently criticized as too partisan and intolerable.
As a prelude to the election, the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, expressed appreciation to the Nigerian media practitioners for their commendable role during the recently conducted general elections.
He charged them to continue to make the incoming government accountable once it assumes office.
Buhari showed up at the convention was represented by the Vice President-elect, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. He said: “Any meeting of the Guild is always an important national event because of the role which the Press, our very vibrant press has played and continues to play in the overall development of our nation’s democracy.
“Though no Editor is dictatorial or meant to be, but to ensure that there is order and responsibility, those who developed the press over the centuries in their wisdom, invested the Editor with these powers.
He noted that the press in Nigeria, and indeed in many countries influence millions of people daily as most people make it a habit to read a newspaper or listen to newspaper reviews every morning before setting out for the days’ business.
“There is no modern society or government that can neglect the press or can function without a vibrant media,” he said.
This was the 2015 elections for which reason all sorts of predictions and doomsday scenarios were bandied about. Thankfully the election has come and gone relatively peacefully and Nigeria for pulling it through is now hailed by the comity of nations as a modern democracy.
On the recently conducted general elections, the President-elect said, “All Nigerians including politicians are aware of the moderating role played by the press at all levels. I want on behalf of our people to say thank you, for a job well done. Nigerians now have the change of government they desire and for the first time, it was possible for a party in opposition to defeat a party in power following the people’s will.
“I would like to state that having played a role in bringing the present change about, the work of the press is not over. The incoming administration would like the press to continue its role of watchmen and women, aggregating the views and positions of the people on national issues and presenting these as lucidly as possible through publication and other channels to the government to guide it in the onerous task of providing good governance for our people.
“Nigeria is a huge country and no government can be able to know all that is happening across the length and breadth of the country without assistance of the media which has an impressive national reach”.
The Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, who was represented by the Registrar of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Garba Bello Kankarofi, extolled the editors for discharging their watchdog role, but urged them to continue to strive for excellence and to consider national interest above all things in their judgment.
The Guest of Honour, Prince Tony Momoh, who was himself a former editor of Daily Times and former Minister of Information said the duty of the editor as gate-keeper is to monitor governance on behalf of the people. He urged the editors not to relent on this especially at this critical time in the nation’s history when good governance is all that the people desire.
The host governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, thanked the editors for being part of the success story of leadership in Lagos State through their constructive criticisms and agenda-setting roles. He charged them to do more.
Fashola’s charge was corroborated by the chairperson of the occasion, Mrs Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo, who urged the editors never to relent in their watchdog duty especially in a democratic Nigeria, stressing that the Nigerian editor played very prominent role in the birthing of democracy in the nation and therefore show be in the front row in the task of safe-guarding it.