The former Minister for Youths and Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has charged media practitioners to do all within their power to ensure the survival of journalism as a noble profession in order to also foster unity and stability in the country.
Mallam Abdullahi gave the charge as the guest speaker at the induction of the president, executives and fellows of the Fourth Estate Professional Society (FPS) held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Friday, February 12, 2021.
Abdullahi who spoke on “Sustaining Media in time of economic challenge” observed with satisfaction that during the first year of journalism training, ethics and law of journalism are the core courses taught in institutions of learning but today things have changed to the detriment of the profession.
Raising so many puzzles on the rising space occupied by social media without recourse to ethical standards, he however charged that professionals should rise to ensure that freedom of expression is not mortgaged as well as ensuring that technology does not kill professional codes and ethics.
He noted that today, many unemployed youths with smart phones claim to be journalists posting anything on their walls ignoring national security.
In his welcome address, the President, Dr. Babatunde Salami assured that the emergence of the society is to ensure protection of journalism and Journalists.
He clarified that the society was not set up as a faction to the Nigeria Union of Journalist to which many of them belong adding that the common goal was the restoration of sanity and professionalism into the calling.
The General Manager of Diamond 88.7 fm, Ilorin, Elder Michael Abiodun Olanrewaju was inducted as National Secretary, while a former Editor of National Pilot Newspapers, Mrs. Christie Doyin Adekoya was inducted as National Treasurer. 23 fellows were also inducted.
The Olupo of Ajasse-Ipo, a first class monarch in Kwara State was the royal father and Chairman of the day. Goodwill messages were delivered by the Kwara State Chairman of NUJ, General Managers of the Herald Newspapers, NTA Ilorin, SBS Radio, Kwara TUC Chair, Kwara NIPR Chair and the Police Public Relations Officer, among others.
They unanimously agreed that the need for a purely professional group within journalism profession in Nigeria was long overdue.
In his opening prayer, Elder Olusakin Babalola, the Editor of Oodua News Newspaper who was among those inducted as a Fellow prayed that God should intervene in the affairs of media practitioners in the country.