NGE urged to uphold ethics, promote good governance as Egbemode is re-elected
The president of Nigerian Guild of Editors and Managing Director of New Telegraph newspaper, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, was re-elected unopposed as president at the Guild`s Biennial Convention held in Lagos last Saturday. It would be recalled that in 2015, Egbemode took over as president from Femi Adeshina following his appointment to the presidency, as the Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity.
Other officers, who were returned unopposed are Mr. Frederick Fabor, Vice President, East; Hajiya Sani, Vice President, North; and Mrs. Victoria Ibanga as the General Secretary. Mr. Suleiman Gaya emerged as Deputy President. Others are Mustapha Isah, Vice President, West; Mr. Ray Echebiri, Treasurer, and Mrs. Mary Atologbe emerged Assistant Secretary.
Mr. Ibrahim Mammaga of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and his Leadership newspaper counterpart, Mrs. Catherine Agbo, emerged Standing Committee members for the north.
Mr. Steve Nwosu, Steve Osuji and Austin Elewodalu were elected as Standing Committee members, West, while Mrs. Juliet Njiowhor and Mr. Ikpong Udom won as Standing Committee members for East. The election committee, led by veteran journalist, Mr. Ray Ekpu, supervised the hitch-free exercise and declared the results.
Also, the event featured the induction of 59 members into the guild following the lift of embargo placed on induction in 2015/2016, this year to create room for new members. Three of the inductees are editors of The Guardian, namely, Deputy editor, Mr. Julius Eto, associate editoron Sunday, Mr. Alabi Williams and associate editor on Saturday, Nike Sotede.
In her acceptance speech, Egbemode said she would work hard to effect positive changes in the guild in the next two years. “I regard this election as an investment and I will ensure that this confidence is treated with respect,” she said. “I am truly humbled, lucky because of the numbers of editors that decided that one person is good and nobody should run against me.”
She assured that she would not disappoint her colleagues because they gave her an uncommon trust. Earlier, Governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode, who was the chief host of the event, had urged the media to embrace partnership with the state as they both share a common goal of developing the country. Ambode commended the theme of the convention ‘A nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media? as very apt and in line with the media’s traditional rule as the conscience of the nation, adding, “It is not only topical but relevant to our collective efforts at addressing the current economic challenges.”
He noted that good governance is the convergence of leadership and followership, stating that convergence of media is essential in nation building through positive reportage.
Ambode, therefore, said the media should lend its support by bringing its professionalism of ethics to promote consciousness and values within the society.
In his presentation on the theme of the convention, former Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Champion, Emma Agu, said the effectiveness of media, as a tool of engineering, was its internal coordination of its operations.
Agu said the media is the only group that watches over public office holders by making them accountable. The media, he noted, should give hope in times of despair irrespective of the economic situation in the country. Agu charged the guild to encourage capacity building schemes that would aid journalists’ reportage and expose them to new media techniques.
In his remarks, Chairman of the convention, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, said many media owners do not realise the power of editors, saying the power of newspaper lies with the editor.
Yusuf, who doubles as Chairman of Daily Trust, said the media is at the receiving end of recession, noting, “The reduction in pagination of newsprint, increase in price are all reflections of recession. There is need for media owners to be more aggressive in advert pursuit as this is the financial bedrock of its operation. Journalists need to look at how to survive at these trying times.”
Earlier, Egbemode had said Nigerian editors were precious metals as they build men and nations. She, however, urged the editors to use their qualities to nurture the country, adding, “The country has come this far and will go very far because of the thoroughbreds in this room. It is who we are, builders of men and nations.”