By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has approved the donation of three-bedroom flat each to the families of the two slain journalists â€” Mr Bayo Ohu of The Guardian Newspapers and Mr. Edo Sule Ugbagwu of The Nation Newspapers who were killed by suspected assassins in Lagos.
State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, disclosed this yesterday in his address at a media stakeholdersâ€™ debate on â€œ150 Years of Journalism: How Far?â€organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Council.
The announcement by Bamidele, who represented the governor, spontaneously gingered a loud applause from the apparently joyousÂ media professionals.
The event was also attended by the Minister for Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili; Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Head Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, UNILAG; Chief Executive Officer of Newswatch Magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu; Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Mideno Bayagbon, among others.
According to the commissioner, the three-bedroom accommodation was part of measures by the state government to assuage the accommodation plights of the bereaved families as well as in realisation of the promise made to families of the late journalists.
The state government made a donation of N1 million to the family of Ohu with a promise to offer his widow employment subject to her academic qualification, professional background and work experience.
While expressing sincere appreciation on the strategic role of journalism in nation-building, Bamidele urged journalists to adopt sociological approach in discharging their responsibilities, saying the approach would help re-brand Nigeria and her citizens in the comity of nations.
According to him, â€œthe same approach was used in South Africa when apartheid regime fell. We can adopt the same approach in Nigeria by deploying our cultural and traditional values to promote ourselves. This is the only way we can attract foreign investors and re-brand our country internationally.â€
Ohu, was gruesomely murdered at his Egbeda residence on 20 September 2009 while Ugbagwu was similarly murdered at his Shasha residence same vicinity in Lagos on 25 April 2010.