Welfare of journalists should be considered paramount by stakeholders to ensure media men discharge their duties effectively to the society.
Member House of Representatives, Honourable Shina Peller made the call during a speech at the inauguration of Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Chairman’s office, at Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
Honourable Peller noted that journalists remain indispensable in the scheme of things in the society, hence the need to equip them adequately.
Commissioner for Information, Orientation, Culture and Tourism in Oyo State, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, made similar submission as decried a situation where media men are owed several arrears of salaries, thereby making them vulnerable to various dangerous situations and corruption.
He implored the NUJ president, Comrade Chris Iziguso, to work assiduously to address sundry issues confronting the pen profession.
President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Chris Iziguso, expressed his pleasure at being honoured to inaugurate the Oyo State Council’s Chairman’s office.
He commended Honourable Shina Peller for his magnanimity to the Oyo State Council of the NUJ.
Comrade Iziguso described journalism as the breath of democracy, highlighting the various cases of harassment and detention of journalists in African countries including Nigeria, Tanzania and Sudan.
He said politicians must respect the constitutional position of the fourth estate of the realm.
Earlier, in an address of welcome, Chairman, Oyo NUJ, Comrade Adewumi Faniran, expressed his gratitude to all who graced the occasion.
Comrade Faniran lauded member representing Iseyin/ Itesiwaju/ Iwajowa and Kajola Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Shina Peller, for facilitating the rehabilitation of the NUJ chairman’s office.
In a lecture with the theme “Media, Freedom and Development”, the Director, Distant Learning, University of Ibadan, Professor Olusoji Aremu, who was represented by Dr. Olarenwaju Oladejo, pointed out that it has become a norm for government to tag criticism as dissent.
Professor Aremu described governance as collaborative undertaking, adding that no nation can attain its desired development without the media.
He said it was imperative for journalists to guard the freedom of the media jealousy as it remains the voice of the masses.
Professor Aremu stressed that the media should however not compromise its status, its independent mandate, while also charging them to remain objective.
Highlight of the occasion was the inauguration of the Oyo NUJ chairman office.
Present at the event were the Agba Akin Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi, who represented the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Zonal Director, Radio Nigeria Ibadan, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, represented by Deputy Director News and Current Affairs, Pastor Dare Olorunfemi. Simeon Ugbodovon