The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has said that the press will continue to be relevant in Nigeria’s march towards nation building and economic development.
The governor lauded journalists for their contributions to the political and economic development of Nigeria since her amalgamation in 1914.
Prince Abiodun stated this on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated annually on the 3rd May.
The media, the Governor said further, are an integral and inevitable part of the human society.
He described journalists as the major link between government and the people.
“Your role as the Fourth Estate of the Realm is irreplaceable in Nation-building as the watchdog of successive administrations and people who hold the present and past administrations to account.
“Chapter 22 of the Constitution is a tribute to your relevance and the words of Thomas Jefferson that if left with a society without government or one without press, he wouldn’t hesitate to choose the former,” he said.
Prince Abiodun noted that it is necessary that government provides a conducive working environment for journalists and institutions through a healthy partnership.
He pointed out that because this year’s celebration is the first since his Administration came on board last year, it is a remarkable day for him.
He said: “The 2020 World Press Freedom Day, which is being globally celebrated today, gives us the peculiar avenue to appreciate the vital role being played daily by the media by ensuring practical autonomy for our institutions. And indeed, being the first for our Administration, this is a remarkable day.”
He praised journalists as frontlines in the fight against public health issues, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged economies globally.
The Governor appreciated the efforts of the media in the State, especially the numerous and effective sensitisation initiatives that have emerged via different platforms even up to the grassroots level, to create awareness on the virus.
He advised journalists to shun all acts that may compromise the ethics of their profession and stay focused on issues of development.
“I urge the media to continue to be guided by the ethics of the noble profession, and shun sentiments, partisanship, and fake or unverified news stories, so that together, we can build a better future,” he concluded.