Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has advised the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to ensure training and re-training of reporters to curb quackery and fake news.
Sanwo-Olu made the call at the inauguration of the remodelled NUJ Secretariat, on Saturday, in Lagos.
The union also used the occasion to confer the award of Grand Matron on Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi.
Ajayi is the founder, Love of Christ Generation Church Cherubims & Seraphim.
She was honoured for taking over the remodelled secretariat project from 30 per cent completion and building it to completion.
Sanwo-Olu stressed the need to go back to the basics to sustain the journalism profession.
He was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho.
“All of us have to go back to the drawing board,” he said.
The governor expressed worry at the infiltration of the media profession by untrained practitioners dominating social media.
Such untrained journalists, he said, are running commentaries as columnists, thereby increasing misinformation and disinformation.
The governor called for training and retraining of journalists to ensure good reporting of news and events in Nigeria professionally.
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He congratulated Lagos journalists on the remodelling of the secretariat.
NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, also urged journalists to use their reportage to promote the development and unity of the nation.
Isiguzo thanked former Lagos NUJ council Chairperson, Mrs Funke Fadugba, immediate past Chairman, Dr Quasim Akinreti, and the incumbent, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, for their contributions to the purchase and remodelling of the secretariat.
He also thanked the State Government for financial support towards the project.
He also commended Rev. Ajayi for her generosity in taking over construction from 30 per cent to completion.
“We have decided to name the conference hall of Ladi Lawal Press Centre after you,” he said.
The president said that the union, in the past, usually relied on the government and its agencies for support.
“But Mother Esther had changed the narrative.
“He said that she had given journalists the befitting edifice to give them “a unique sense of identity”.
In his welcome address, the NUJ Lagos Council Chairman, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, also thanked the husband of the cleric, Dr Ademuyiwa Ajayi, who motivated her to support the project to completion.
He also thanked veteran journalist and former Ogun governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who inaugurated construction of the secretariat about 20 years ago.
Ajayi used the occasion to highlight the achievements of his administration.
These include capacity building and welfare programmes for journalists and taking bold steps towards realising the visions of the union’s estate.
In her goodwill message, a former Chairman of the NUJ Lagos council, Fadugba, said she never knew, when she bought the property 20 years ago, that she was sowing a great seed.
She thanked Dr Quasim Akinreti, who had the vision for expansion, and Adeleye Ajayi who furthered the vision and completed the project.
Chief Osoba led the gathering to sing songs of thanksgiving to God for the opportunity to be alive to see the completion of the project inaugurated 20 years ago after its purchase.
“Today is a day of joy,” he said, commending Rev. Mother Ajayi for completing the project.
He thanked the council chairman for his tenacity and Isiguzo for ensuring more journalists got national honours.
The cleric, Mother Esther, inaugurated the building and led dignitaries on a tour of the three-storey secretariat.
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