The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has saluted former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, and the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY /ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, for giving journalism and the media a place of honour.
In a birthday message to the two eminent journalists, the guild, in a statement by its President, Mr. Mustapha Isah, and the General Secretary, Mr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren, said the duo had brought a creative innovation to modern journalism practice through their labours and accomplishments.
Describing Obaigbena, fondly called the Duke by his close associates, as possessing resilient character, tact and a tenacious strength of mind to succeed, the guild said he had been able to navigate the rough pathway in the past four decades to make his mark in the industry.
It said: ‘’An influential member of the guild and former President, Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Prince Obaigbena is arguably, one of Nigeria’s most powerful newspaper publishers and brainy, who has successfully built an influential network of friends and associates that cuts across all segments of the society.
‘’A good manager of human resources, the Duke has a mysterious capacity for attracting gifted journalists to his pool; this approach has fortified the editorial strength of both THISDAY and ARISE NEWS that have many of our influential members.
‘’As he turns 62 years today, we congratulate the media mogul, skillful journalist and innovator, whose assistance to the growth and development of the Nigerian media industry remains impossible to remove and worthy of emulation.’’
On Osoba, who will be 82 years tomorrow, the NGE commended him for remaining committed to the mission of the professional group, saying even though he is no longer in active journalism practice, he has remained a dogged promoter of sound journalism profession and a staunch supporter of the guild, whose activities he always finds time to participate in, including the recent national convention in Kano State.
The guild said: ‘’Chief Osoba’s strong obligation to the journalism profession and the NGE’s mission is unwavering. The guild witnessed this recently when he chested out and called on journalists and other media stakeholders to resist the proposed media amendment bills before the National Assembly – which many sound minds believed were created to criminalise journalism practice.
‘’For Chief Osoba, it is an existential battle for journalists and those who cherish civic and democratic space to fight – in order to retrieve our democracy from the jaws of those who want to destroy it. We salute his courage.
‘’Chief Osoba believes so much in the freedom of the press freedom so much that he is ready to express his views even if his political friends may not be comfortable with them.”
The editors said Osoba did the guild proud as the governor of Ogun State with his sterling stewardship.
While praying God to continue to give him good health and wisdom in his service to the nation as he clocks 82, the guild urged him not to give up in his struggle for a just society and a free press.