Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Saturday pleaded with editors in Nigeria to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aides to make their jobs less challenging.
Speaking at a reception organised by the Nigeria Guild of Editors for its members recently appointed as the president’s media aides, Tinubu, represented by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State as chairman of the occasion, said Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, respectively, needed support.
The event was in honour of the duo.
Tinubu, who is APC’s Party Leader and the chairman of the occasion, said the two presidential aides needed the support to make their job less difficult.
“I can already see that Femi and Garba are going to have real challenges but the men and women in this hall have all what it takes to help you to make the job less difficult,” he said.
Tinubu urged editors to keep fighting corruption and other vices that undermine the growth and development of the country.
“For me, the media are the best fighters. If you don’t fight, the society will not grow. Today, there are debates about poor governance. Nothing is going to change if we don’t fight.
“It is important to fight the war until we get the country of our dream; for me, let us fight a cause that is necessary in order to deliver prosperity to our people,” Tinubu said.
He said editors should keep fighting until the war against corruption was won, Nigeria was free from its insurgency and created an economy that was not so much dependent on one commodity.
Tinubu expressed happiness over the President’s political will to fight war against corruption in the country.
He congratulated the NGE for having two members of its own being appointed by the President to play very important role in his administration.
“I believe it is a reflection of the role of the media in the democracy. No matter what anyone will say, the Nigerian media remain a powerful pillar and force in the struggle for democracy.
“In history, you are on record as having been convicted for allegedly plotting a coup only with the power of your pen without a gun and you paid your prize.
“People went to prisons because you wrote pro-democracy stories that you thought that would prevent military government,” Tinubu said adding that nobody understood the benefit of freedom more than the media and that when the society is free, the media can operate.
“If we are celebrating democracy today, we are celebrating what Nigerian media has helped to build over the years,” Tinubu said.
In his address of welcome, the Acting President of NGE, Mr Garba Muhammad, said the NGE grand reception was organised to celebrate its two media icons, who were appointed few months ago by the president.
Muhammad described the president’s media aides as exceptional professionals, who had never engaged in fighting their colleagues in the course of exercising professionalism.
Alhaji Ismail Issa-Funtua, the Publisher, Defunct Democrat Newspapers, urged NGE to come up with ideas that would improve the capacity of students produced by the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in Lagos.
He said the NGE’s input was imperative as younger ones in the journalism profession lacked skills and wanted to run down the profession by begging for money at public events.
Adesina, who thanked the guild for the grand reception, urged the media to be fair in its reportage of the president’s activities.
Present at the occasion were Mr Ima Niboro, the Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Shola Omale, Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and other dignitaries.