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UNILAG Muslim community commends professionalism at The Guardian

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The University of Lagos Muslim Community has eulogised the role The Guardian has played over the years towards the development of the country. This was disclosed last Thursday, when the group, led by Prof. Lai Olurode, paid a courtesy visit to the Corporate Office of The Guardian at Rutam House in Isolo, Lagos.

The chairman of UNILAG Muslim Community, who came in the company of the Chief Imam, University of Lagos, Imam Ismail Musa; Dr. Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff of the Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources Management; and Resident Imam, University of Lagos Muslim Community, Dr. Mustapha Ibrahim were received on behalf of The Guardian by Senior members of the Editorial Staff.

The group said The Guardian has remained on the path of truth in spite of the challenges it faced during the late Sani Abacha administration, and stressed that it should continue to follow its ideology, which the newspaper has maintained over three decades of its existence.

Professor Olurode said: “If you are telling a lie, you can’t tell the lie for a year. You can only tell a lie maybe for a couple of days before people will get to know that you are lying. But since 1983, someone had a vision of putting in place a formidable media industry and for 36 years now, you have been toeing that path. And for any institution in our country to be on for even 20 years, especially now that the survival rate is very slim, is very commendable.

Even some government institutions established during the Eastern, Western and Northern regions, I’m not sure any of them survive the first 20 or 25 years.

Most of them are now moribund, except for a few. So, it is even war for the media industry. As a community, we thought there was need to give recognition. If somebody is doing well, it’s good for the person to know he/she is doing well so as to remain on that path.

“But more robustly is the fact that you have an establishment that this country can be very proud of, in terms of professionalism and not being emotional.

You have tried to maintain a kind of balance that is the envy of other media practitioners, and you’ve done this even in the very tough time, when your founder was a minister in Sani Abacha’s government. He maintained a rare measure of aloofness. We’ve seen how it is for media industry to survive today.

Most of them that have political leanings can’t even maintain the catchment needed to really be able to say this is the direction the country is going. Also, your editorial gives focus and articulates the way the country is.

Ours is a very diverse country, where national integration is a challenge. You don’t just give in based on sentiment. Of course, you must have your political or religious leanings, but at the same time, you strike a balance.”

While thanking The Guardian management for giving them space in the newspaper to talk about Islam and what the religion stands for, the group implored the management to accommodate more of their views and coverage.


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