Press Freedom: Media practitioners hail Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola addressing a gathering of media practitioners during a Media Parley session with journalists in commemoration of his 60th birthday, at the Government House, Osogbo, at the weekend
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola addressing a gathering of media practitioners during a Media Parley session with journalists in commemoration of his 60th birthday, at the Government House, Osogbo, at the weekend

Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has been commended for providing an enabling environment for media practitioners to thrive in the state.

The journalists also applauded the state government for being conscious of press freedom and for allowing media to operate independently.

In his remarks at a media parley in Osogbo, the Chief Executive Officer, RAVE FM, a private radio station in Osogbo, Mr. Femi Adefila said Osun government under the leadership of Governor Aregbesola has done wonderfully well in maintaining the distance required from the mass media’s affairs.

Others who spoke include the Chairman of the Osun Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Biodun Olalere, General Manager, Nigerian Television Authority, Mrs. Florence Omidiji, Chairman, Correspondent Chapel, Prince Hammed Oyegbade.

Adefila said Governor Aregbesola has given mass media operators absolute freedom to operate.

He said media organisations in the state -both print and electronics- have been enjoying the right atmosphere commending the governor for his tolerance for opposing views.

Adefila asserted that on no account has his station experienced any form of interference that could have hampered the principles of fairness and objectivity expected of the right atmosphere for professional practice.

According to him, “What I found most fascinating about Governor Aregbesola is his intellectual prowess.

“Aregbesola is deeper beyond his profession as an engineering expert. His approach to issues has distinguished him among his peers.

“These are the virtues I personally adore in him. I have had the opportunity at different fora interviewing him and he had distinguished himself to be a man of integrity to the core.

“Information gathered from the people have testified to the fact that the Governor is kind-hearted and of course a man with strong moral conviction.

“I found him a man with large passionate heart for the development of humanity as these virtues have reflected in his conduct of giving absolute freedom to the media in the state.

“Aregbesola’s tolerance for divert views second to none. He has provided a template for media to thrive irrespective of ideology, philosophy and style.

“Aregbesola has created rooms for opposing views to reign not minding personal interest and to me, that is what democracy is all about. He is different from politicians who derive pleasure from gagging the voice of the media that could subject them to satire.

“I operate a private radio station in the state, and my station has never been hampered from any quarter.

“And on no account does the government or its functionaries interfere in any of our affairs and programme. We have enjoyed high sense of independence and this has made us to operate very well in serving the people”, he added.

Corroborating the statement, the chairman of the Correspondent Chapel, Prince Hameed Oyegbade,who is also the correspondent of Daily Trust Newspaper, described the freedom being enjoyed by journalists in the state as unprecedented in the political annals of the state.

He acknowleged what he called the massive transformation of the state since assumption of office adding that the state has been put on a solid footing for future developments.

The NTA, GM, Omidiji, in her remarks, said she has seen Aregbesola at very close quarters and convinced that he possesses that right leadership needed for social and economic redemption of the country.

The NUJ Chairman, Olalere, said Aregbesola has demonstrated well enough his capacity for good governance noting that the experience of the last six years and a half is enough testimony to the commitment to the good of the people.

The Governor, in his response, advised journalists to see themselves as agents of change for the society.

He said through investigations, the media are well placed to inform, educate and set agenda for the growth of the society.

He advised that rather than lap up what politicians say to gain undue advantages, journalists should dig deeper in order to serve the society better.

Those who joined the Governor to receive the media practitioners at the event tagged “Media Night Out With Ogbeni” were his deputy Iyaafin Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori; Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.

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