Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Saturday inaugurated the remodeled secretariat for the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state.
The event was equally attended by former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo; Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi, among other distinguished personalities.
Speaking, Governor Sanwo-Olu who was represented by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso expressed concern over the current state of journalism in the country.
He said: “Reporting in journalism is dying. Anybody that can tap the computer is now a columnist. We need to go to the drawing board. It is after you have reported accurately that you can begin to talk about being a columnist. I will like all of us not to joke with training of reporters.”
Similarly, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo said Nigerian journalists have been urged to be fair and balance in their reportage during the upcoming general election in the country.
According to Isiguzo, journalists should ensure they promote development, unity fairness and transparency through their reports in order to avoid chaos and anything that will disrupt the smooth running of the elections.
“As we go about the coverage of 2023 general election, let us bear in mind that the future of this country is in our hands. Let us not truncate the unity of Nigeria. Let our news help to deliver credible, transparent, free and fair general elections.
“You are strategic to the delivery of a credible election, please do the right thing. Support us in our mantra of projecting and promoting development journalism,” he beseeched.
The NUJ boss also lauded the philanthropic gesture of the General Overseer of the Love of Christ Generation Church, London, Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi who singlehandedly sponsored the building of the Remodelled Lagos council NUJ Secretariat to completion describing it as a dream come true.
According to Isiguzo, the secretariat should be used to train and retrain journalists to keep them abreast with the knowledge they need to excel in their profession.
“We have decided to name the Congress hall of Ladi Lawal Press Center Lagos after our benefactor, Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi.
“We’ll continue to immortalise the contributions you have made to the journalism profession in the country. We indeed appreciate you,” he stated.
On her part, the General Overseer of the Love of Christ Generation Church, London, Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi popularly known as Iya Adura urged Nigerians to get their PVC to enable them vote during the general election.
According to her, this is not the time to only pray and fast, saying that without PVC, nothing can be done.
“Its good to pray and fast concerning our country but if you don’t have your PVC, your prayers may not yield the needed result.
“Don’t just fold your hands and keep saying we don’t know what they’re doing, without your PVC, there’s nothing we can do. Go and get your PVC to enable you vote, enough of sitting and just watching,” she concluded.
Finally, the Chairman of the council, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, commended his predecessor, Dr Qasim Akinreti for starting the project, saying its completion during his own administration symbolised unity in the union.
“Our Lagos Council is a progressive and united council. We are inaugurating the remodelled building to the glory of God and for the comfort of journalists who deserve the best.
“With this befitting edifice, every journalist can beat his or her chest because we now have something to be proud of,” he said.
The chairman also commended the executive administration of Mrs Funke Fadugba, for her foresight in acquiring the original one-storey building for Lagos journalists two decades ago.
He recalled that the Fadugba-led Lagos NUJ Executive members bought the one-storey building between 2002-2005, and it served as a secretariat for the Council till it was remodelled.
“From the one-storey building bought by our great leader, Mrs Funke Fadugba has come this two-storey state-of-the-art building that will be inaugurated on Saturday,” he said.
Ajayi listed facilities in the building to include an ICT centre, conference hall, offices and an open space for social gatherings.
The secretariat is also fitted with a 24-hour wireless internet as well as a workstation for journalists willing to write their daily reports and send to their offices.