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Government urges media to promote civility in national discourse

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor and Sunday Aikulola
22 May 2021   |   3:06 am
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that debates over Nigeria’s future will always be intense and passionate but they need not be toxic or polarising

[FILES] Osinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that debates over Nigeria’s future will always be intense and passionate but they need not be toxic or polarising. He also called on Nigerians to “reject the temptation to fracture our society and chose instead to elevate those constructive elements in our midst that can promote justice, healing and togetherness.”   

In his keynote address at the event to celebrate the Life and Times of departed media leaders, tagged, An Afternoon of Tributes, which held at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Lagos, yesterday, Osinbajo said, “the media can help promote a climate of civility in which even the most contentious national issues can be discussed in full and frank terms without degenerating into chaos. Our country is not perfect and we all know this. But the cure for her imperfections is most certainly neither destruction nor a heedless descent into anarchy being promoted by some voices. We all have a share in the much-needed work of rebuilding, redesigning, reforming and healing our nation.”

Osinbajo commended the media for being at the forefront of the country’s epochal struggles from the fight against colonialism to the struggle to entrench democracy. Speaking on the lives and illustrious tradition to which they belonged, he said it is a reflection on their legacies that affirms the great values for which they stood.

Those honoured include former Governor of Lagos State, pioneer NGE and NPAN President, Lateef Jakande; former Minister of Information and Culture and ex-President and Secretary-General of NGE, Tony Momoh and Life Patron, NPAN, Ismaila Isa. Other deceased media leaders honoured are former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Executive Director, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Ben Egbuna; late publisher, Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah; as well as ex-publisher, New Nation and former Editor, Sunday Times, Gbolabo Ogunsanwo.

The event also witnessed tributes to former General Manager, Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation (LSBC) and columnist, Bisi Lawrence; former Editor, Daily Express, Eddie Aderinokun; and past President, NGE and former Managing Director and Chairman News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Wada Maida.

The event which was organised by the Nigerian Press Organisation, consisting of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON); attracted prominent guests and royalty such as the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar CFR; Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, former Governor of Ogun State, Segun Osoba; Ajibola Ogunsola, Publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena, former Ambassador to Brazil, Patrick Dele Cole; founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, Muyiwa, Lade Bonuola and members of the deceased families including, Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, Betty Egbuna, Abdurasheed Momoh, Bayo Ogunsanwo, Omowunmi Lawrence, Hajia Waida Maida and Zainab Nda Isaiah.