Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that the proposed social media bill was not meant to gag the media but to hold them responsible for their reports, bemoaning the malicious and deliberate misinformation of the people by a section of unpatriotic Nigerians.
Prince Dapo Abiodun, made this known at the 160th celebration of the birth of journalism in Abeokuta, with the theme, “Re-inventing the Practice of Journalism in Nigeria with Emphasis on the Influence of the Social Media”, saying the call for death penalty was uncalled for.
Abiodun also added that the deliberate misinformation by unscrupulous elements had prompted reactions from some people in the country who called for death penalties for hate speech offenders, charging veteran journalists to keep abreast of developments in the field of journalism, in order to ensure that their roles as elders were not eroded.
The Governor enjoined them to uphold the ethics of the profession and reposition it as the Fourth Estate of the realm in the democratic system, while urging them to strive for unity and use the profession as a catalyst for continued human-capital development.
He admonished members of the pen profession to guard against forces that seek to use them for selfish interests, as it was important for journalists to distance themselves from partisanship and ensure objectivity in their reportage.
Abiodun affirmed his administration’s readiness to genuine collaborations from individuals and corporate organizations for positive contribution to the development of the State.
In his remark, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, described journalism as a profession of intellectuals, noting that Abeokuta, being the cradle of journalism had produced first class professionals in the media, who had contributed to the socio- political development of the country.
Speaking on the theme, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, said journalists needed to update themselves on modern trends in the industry, advising them to employ the latest technology in carrying out their duties.
He charged the present crop of media practitioners to be dedicated, committed, have passion for the job and be fearless like those before them, as this was the only way to keep the profession alive, calling on journalists to use social media to change the narrative.
Highlight of the event was the decoration of Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, as the Grand Patron, while the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, was decorated as Fellow, League of Veteran Journalists.
Elijah Udofia & Oluwafunso Obasan,