Speakers at the opening ceremony and symposium of the 2023 Press Week celebrations organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, have Advocated effective and unbiased information for the residents of Ondo State in view of the current political situation.

They gave this charge while speaking on the theme; “Place Of The Media In Times Of Socio-Economic Predicaments & Ondo State Politics”.

They said though the media and journalists in the state have been very fair to all parties in the political logjam in the state, they should do more for a better society.

In his remark, the Minister of Interior, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo ‘BTO’, who chaired the Symposium, commended the media for making huge sacrifice for a better nation.

Tunji-Ojo, who was represented by an Associate, Hon Muyiwa Asagunla, described the theme of the celebration as timely, adding that the administration of President Bola Tinubu is working round the clock to tackle the current economic challenges facing the people.

The Minister enjoined the people to exercise more patience, as Tinubu would not disappoint them.

While Speaking during the symposium, a PDP Chieftain, Hon Abayomi Sheba, represented by Prince Henry Akinriboya, challenged the media to be the conscience of the society and always speak the truth to the political class.

“The media is now full of lots of inconsistency. The government is not giving the freedom to the press to speak the truth. How can the media challenge the Government?.

“The media should be neutral and unbiased. The fate of Ondo State lies in the hands of the media practitioners here. They should also be peacemakers. The media should make their findings and present it to the public the way it is.”

He added that President Tinubu has also commended the journalists in Ondo state for the role they played in the state when it was a bit tough.

Speaking on the economic situation predicaments, he said “Rome was not built in a day.

“We should give the president some few time. He is doing all his best to make things better and bring back the past glory of Nigeria. I believe we are still the giant of Africa and we still own the largest economy.”

In the same accordance, an APC Bigwig, Engineer Ifeoluwa Oyedele, represented by Rev. Gbenga Awe, charged the media in Ondo State to work for the interest of the people.

“What the press is expected to do is to reflect on what is happening in Ondo State, the foundation is not properly formed and that is why the state is having problem.

“The media is expected to be free and should Represent the people, they are not supposed to take sides. The media are knowledgeable because they pick facts and figures to present to the people, a lot of people are ignorant of the things Government are doing, even those that are part of the Government do things for their personal benefits.

“The media should be able to relate with the people and find out what they are going through and also relate it with the Government.

“They should report information the way it is. The media should strive to balance up their news. The president wants peace in Ondo State, he has intervened in all aspects of the crisis happening”, he said.

However, the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, reprsented by the Commissioner of information & Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, commended Ondo Media for their unbiased reportage of events in the state and services rendered to the people of Ondo State.

“For the media in Ondo state, they have been responsible, they haven’t taken any sides, they have been neutral and patriotic in reporting the news. Many journalists seated here in Ondo state have been doing what they are supposed to do, which is to report for their various organizations without bias, and they have been doing just that. The governor commended them for a job well done.

“Journalists also need to let people know that they needed to be patient, they also need to practice what their ethics say”, Akeredolu said.

On the current political situation in the state, Akeredolu said it is a moral issue, adding that “you don’t kick an already down man.”

The state Chairman of the NUJ, Prince Leke Adegbit, while speaking on the Press Week theme, said the topic was chosen to inform the Government on the economic situation of the country and also give them a way forward.

“We choose this theme as it bothers on the economic situation in the country. We would all agree that the economic situation in Nigeria is very hard on the people. We as media practitioner LA and professionals should not join the bandwagon of lamenting. Our responsibility is to recommend to government on their roles and what they should do to reduce the suffering of the people and how they can reduce it.

“This economic situation was caused by fuel subsidy removal and how can the Government redress this? We do not want fuel subsidy, but government should make our refineries work. Our refineries must work. If they are not working, people would continue to buy fuel at high prices. We understand that the economy of this country lies thoroughly on crude oil, all businesses now involve Crude oil.”

Speaking further on Ondo politics, Adegbite applauded his colleagues for doing their job diligently.

“On Ondo State politics, we all know that it is a double barrel. The absence of Mr Governor, the impeachment process initiated against the deputy governor, and the forthcoming governorship election. I commend our colleagues because they have been fair to all parties. We have been practicing the way we were trained. Despite the pressure from the political class, we are doing our job properly.

“So far, we have no record of cases of our journalist being arrested and charged to court. Any of our colleagues have not been assassinated through their reports. Under our watch, journalism practice in Ondo State has been very active”, the NUJ Chairman added.

The State Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Amidu Takuro; the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade represented by Senior High Chief Asae Adegbonmire; Media Executives, Veteran journalists and Youth Service Corps members were among those at the ceremony.

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