Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me also to commend the choice of the theme: “Media and the 2019 General Elections”. In fact, I must say that the theme is very apt. This is because, this discourse is coming at a critical time in our national history when the burning issue is the success of the forthcoming 2019 General Elections. Undoubtedly, central to the success or otherwise of the General Elections is the role of the Media in the larger scheme of the electoral process. The Media has a critical role to play, not only during the Elections proper, but also in the activities leading to the General Elections as well as the post-Elections fall-out.
Having considered its status as the watchdog of the society, the Media is strategically positioned as a platform for public information, enlightenment, education, entertainment and, socialization. In the political arena, it informs the people on the current goings-on; serves as an unbiased reporter in the electoral process; serves as a check to those that steer the ship of the society and simultaneously acts as the barometer to gauge the temperature of the society in the build-up to, during and after the elections. Therefore, the relevance of the Media to the successful execution of the 2019 General Elections cannot be over-emphasized.
If there must be a free and fair election, the media practitioners owe a very special duty to the good people of Nigeria in ensuring an unbiased reportage of events. It is imperative to charge all our media practitioners to be balanced in their reportage. You should understand that your writings are not a mere reflection of your own feelings but help, to a large extent, in moulding the feelings and sentiments of the society at large. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that you use your pen with circumspection and restrain. Also is the fact that you have an important and indispensable role in strengthening our growing democracy.
However, if there is any time when the very foundation of our national existence as a people is sorely threatened, this indeed is the time. In view of this, this is the time the nation needs media men and women who are committed and unwavering in their quest to employ their platforms to sensitize the people and create the ambience necessary for sustained peace and tranquillity in the society, without which our democracy will not grow.
As an Administration, we are not oblivious of the fact that no Government can succeed without the support and cooperation of the people. We are also not unaware of the fact the Media is an important ally in our drive towards the realisation of our socio-economic development drive in Ogun State. It is for this reason that we continue to accord the Media a pride a place to ensure that it performs its duty without let or hindrance. In doing this, we continue to encourage and provide Media practitioners in our dear State an ambience to express themselves.
Let me re-assure you all that we shall continue to create the environment necessary for a free and un-fettered Press. We shall also continue to do everything necessary to make our media houses compliant. We see the media as partners – in – progress in our desire to deliver on our ‘‘Mission to Rebuild’’ Ogun State and will not relent in our efforts to empower them appropriately.
Gentlemen of the Press, Iet me charge you to continue to serve as the good link that brings Government and the entire people of Ogun State together. I urge you to put into use the principles of fairness, equity and justice in the discharge of your duties.
As I declare open the Ogun NUJ 2018 Press Celebration to the continued peace and progress of our dear State, let me; once again, congratulate the Executive Committee and the entire members of the Ogun State NUJ on the year 2018 Annual Press Week. We appreciate your invaluable contributions to nation-building especially to improve the living conditions of the people of Ogun State through our ‘‘Mission to Rebuild’’. Also, l commend the organizers and all those who have contributed to the hosting of this event for the good job done.
I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun CON FCA
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria