11th November, 2010
Convener of the Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare has bemoaned the fate of theÂ Nigerian media. He spoke at celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of LagosÂ Television (LTV) which took placeÂ at the Blue Roof Broadcasting Complex of LagosÂ Television on Alhaji Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, SouthWestÂ Nigeria.
Delivering a lecture titled, â€œThe Role of the Media In Sustaining Democracyâ€,Â Bakare lamented that in its attempt to fulfill its stated objectives, the NigerianÂ media has been subjected to all manner of attacks by successive governments in theÂ country.
According to Pastor Bakare, â€œWhatever the Nigerian Media suffered under the colonialÂ regime paled into insignificance compared to what has happened to it inÂ post-independence Nigeria,â€ adding that in fulfilling the role of its news function,Â the interpretation function and the opinion as well as the corollary function ofÂ information and entertainment in the post- Independence, the Nigerian Media has beenÂ subjected to harassment and assassination of its brightest members without theÂ authorities doing anything to fish out the killers.
Also speaking at the event, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola enjoinedÂ the Nigerian media to help protect the nationâ€™s young democracy through accurateÂ reporting.
Governor Fashola noted that the Nigerian Press has the wherewithal to project theÂ image of the country by creating the right impression before the internationalÂ community.
He said although the Nigerian Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and otherÂ types of freedom, none of the freedoms was limitless adding that every freedom speltÂ out has corresponding duties and has limits.
He admonished the press to always do a thorough investigation on every story beforeÂ publication, Governor Fashola declared.
â€œIf the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, popularly encapsulated in the ideaÂ of a free press, must foster and strengthen democracy, our media must renew itsÂ investigative capacity, its research capacity and its analytical capacityâ€.
â€œThis is the only way that it can discharge its primary purpose of informing,Â educating and enlightening the people. This is the only way that it can separateÂ facts from fiction; this is the only way that it can separate opinion from facts andÂ also from rumour,â€ the governor said.
Governor Fashola, who said he had to shelve other pressing responsibilities toÂ attend the event, said, â€œWe are here to celebrate the legacy of a vision 30 yearsÂ after and to honour the torch bearers who sustained that visionâ€, adding that thisÂ has been done by presenting awards to former Governors of the State, Alhaji LateefÂ Jakande, Rear Admiral Okhai Mike Akhigbe and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
â€œI will like to say, very humbly but very proudly, that we have continued to sustainÂ the vision of Alhaji Jakande in many respects. As regards to this televisionÂ station, I say humbly but proudly that we have placed it on satellite TV and we haveÂ enriched the programming of the Television Stationâ€, the Governor said pointing outÂ that the programmes were designed to serve as platforms for interactions between theÂ Government and the governed at all levels.
The Governor declared, â€œTelevision and the media generally are critical to the fightÂ against poverty because information is not only knowledge, it is also power; andÂ when people are informed through the media such as television, they are betterÂ enlightened, they are better educated, they get better informed and they are freedÂ from the shackles of povertyâ€.
Thanking the former Governor Jakande and others who founded and sustained theÂ station as well as the management and staff of the television station, both retiredÂ and serving for â€œkeeping the torch thus farâ€, the Governor pledged, â€œI promise allÂ of you that we will keep this light aglow whatever it takes to do soâ€.
To the founder of the Station, Alhaji Jakande, Governor Fashola said, â€œPapa, I thankÂ God for you. Indeed, not many are blessed to be able to actualize their dreams. SomeÂ whose dreams are actualized never lived to see them. We thank God for your life; GodÂ prospered you to witness thisâ€, pointing out that although the Federal GovernmentÂ voted N2 million in 1982 to set up NTA 2 just to counter the LTV, it did not deterÂ the station from attaining the height it has reached today.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr.Â Opeyemi Bamidele, expressed joy that the Lagos Television has manifested theÂ aspirations of its founding fathers by effectively maintaining a unique publicÂ sphere for the government and people of Lagos.
He said through the foresight and unparalleled vision of the first civilianÂ administration in the State headed by Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a platform was createdÂ through which the views of the Lagos people as well as the activities and programmesÂ of Government are seen and heard.
Paying glowing tribute to elder statesman, Alhaji Jakande, the CommissionerÂ declared, â€œWe cannot forget in a hurry the opportunity given to Lagosians toÂ experience democracy in its full dimensionâ€, pointing out that the legacy was borneÂ out of the fact that democracy could only thrive where there is effectiveÂ communication between the people and their representatives in government.
Also praising the contributions of the incumbent Governor of the State in moving theÂ television station to greater heights, the Commissioner said, â€œWithout mincingÂ words, the administration of His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), hasÂ provided the impetus for dynamism in every aspect of governance in Lagos State. HisÂ exemplary leadership style has propelled all agencies of government, LTV 8Â inclusive, to greater heights and has made us all to imbibe the core values ofÂ performance, quality assurance, integrity and excellenceâ€.
â€œThis has been the bedrock of the accelerated development and outstandingÂ achievements of the Lagos Television. Today, LTV has become a point of reference onÂ how a medium can attain professional integrity and credibility even within theÂ framework of the public serviceâ€, he said.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of awards to the three formerÂ Governors of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (rtd) andÂ Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as to the incumbent Governor, past informationÂ commissioners and other categories of officers, both retired and serving, who haveÂ contributed to the development of the Television Station over the years.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan,Â the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bola Badmus Olujobi,Â Commissioner of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry ofÂ Information and Strategy, Mrs. Oluranti Odutola, Permanent Secretary LagosÂ Television/Radio Services, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo, other senior officers who served theÂ Station in the past and top government functionaries.