Mr Bolaji Adebiyi, the Managing Editor, ThisDay Newspaper, has called on the media to emphasise salient points that could facilitate the process of national integration and unity.
Adebiyi, also the Vice-President (West), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), made the call on Wednesday in Ibadan, at a public lecture and launching of N100 million Journalists Estate.
It was organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council.
Adebiyi, the Guest Speaker at the event, said the nation was still struggling to achieve national integration in spite of the efforts of successive political leadership.
In his lecture, entitled: “Nigerian Journalists and the Search for National Unity”, he said: “Analysts have apprehended the skewed federal structure of the country for the crisis and argue that the way forward is to restructure.
“They also argue for the need to rebalance the federation through wholesome constitutional reengineering that would enable the constituent units to control their economic resources for the benefits of their citizens.”
Adebiyi, also urged the media to moderate the ongoing debate by highlighting the salient points necessary to achieve national integration.
The renowned journalist said that such effort from the media would assist the citizenry and political elites in facilitating the process of national integration.
Also, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, commended the Ademola Babalola-led NUJ executives in the state, for initiating the Journalists Estate project, saying it was a laudable initiative.
Makinde, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi, said “the initiative falls within the agenda of his administration.”
According to him, I encourage people to key into this initiative as it is going to be beneficial in the future. I will support you in this project.
Commenting, Chief Kola Karim, the Agba-Oye of Ibadanland and Chairman of the event, lauded the NUJ for the initiative aimed at providing affordable housing for members and solving nation’s housing deficit.
Karim, also the Chief Executive Officer, Shoreline Energy International, said the initiative was well thought out, saying the state and other neighbouring cities would benefit from the project.
The multi-billionaire businessman, who pledged to support the NUJ on the project, urged the state government and other reputable organisations to key into the initiative.
In his remarks, Chief Dotun Sanusi of Ilaji Hotels and Sport Resort, described the estate initiative as that which would secure the future wellbeing of journalists and other stakeholders.
Sanusi, represented by his Manager, Mr Hazeez Ayansola, recalled how the renowned Ilaji Resort was birth through such initiative years back.
The philanthropist, who was the chief launcher at the event, promised to assist the council financially.
Dr Oludare Akande, the Chairman, Bellagio Air and American Polytechnic of Nigeria (APN), commended the Babalola-led executives for their several initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of members.
Akande, also represented by Capt. Abioye AbdulKareem, the Managing Diretor, Bellagio Air, said his institution would partner the union in making its dreams a reality.
In his remarks, the NUJ National President, Chief Chris Isiguzo, commended the housing initiative of the council, describing it as a pointer to the council’s welfare programmes for its members.
Isiguzo, represented by Mr Adeleye Ajayi, Lagos State NUJ Chairman, said the project would go a long way in solving the housing plights of Nigerian journalists and citizens.
“The need to own a shelter, especially after retirement when the income is no longer rolling in to pay rents, becomes imperative.
“A good housing policy for NUJ members as initiated by the present executive of the Oyo State Council, is worthy of commendation.
“It would erase a repeat of the sad tales of the past when journalists would retire without their personal homes,” he said.
Earlier, Babalola, explained that housing deficit in the country and the need to provide shelter for his colleagues informed the initiative.
He said that the project would be made affordable for average media practitioners.
Babalola promised to name streets after Makinde and all other former governors of the state, as well as some deserving journalists.
He said the location of the estate puts the subscribers at an advantage position, saying the estate was conceptualised in a way to accommodate hospitality havens, schools, clinic and recreation centres.