Femi Adesina emerges new president of NGE
BY OLA AJAYI, Ibadan
…As Adefaye gives account of stewardship
Mr. Femi Adesina of the Sun Newspapers was Friday elected the new President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, with 149 votes.
Adesina defeated Tukur Abdulrahman of the New Nigerian Newspaper who polled 57 votes in the keenly contested but peaceful election. The election took place at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The new President succeeded Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers who served the Guild for two terms of two years each.
Others elected include Aisha Sule who defeated Ken Njoku for the position of the Deputy President with 137 votes. Njoku got 57 votes.
Also, Suleiman Uba Gaya was elected Vice-President North with 102 votes beating his opponent, Ali M. Alli who scored 62 votes.
However, Ali Hakeem and Sebastin Abu received 108 and 105 votes respectively to be elected as standing committee members.
Before the commencement of the election, Aisha Sule signified her intention to withdraw from contesting the position of the Deputy President, but her request was turned down by the chairman of the electoral committee, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna who explained to other delegates that her decision contravened the laid down rules and regulations of the association. According to Haruna, Aisha could later resign after the swearing in.
All the winners were immediately sworn-in after the election.
Meanwhile, many doyens of Nigerian journalism yesterday poured encomiums on the former President of the NGE, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye over his four years of examplary leadership as he transferred the baton of leadership to the newcoming executive.
Among notable men and women in journalism profession who attended the ceremony were the Chairman/Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka, former Governor of Ogun State and Editor of the defunct Sunday Times , Chief Olusegun Osoba; Felix Adenaike, former managing director, Tribune Newspapers; former Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspapers, Mohammed Haruna; Ray Ekpu, one the founding members of the Newswatch Magazine as well as Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
Before the election of new executive members, Mr. Adefaye gave account of his stewardship saying he was happy he did not betray the confidence reposed in him four years ago when he was given the mandate to lead the association.
He said, “you gave me the mandate and I promised not to put you in shame through any unwholesome conduct. We have tried our best in this regard.’’
Adefaye extolled the exemplary leadership of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Mr. Sam Amuka, Mr. Ajibola Ogunshola, Dr. Tony Iredia, Nduka Obaigbena, Tony Momoh, Mrs. Comfort Obi among other newspaper publishers and owners.
He said he was grateful that he was able to fulfil some of his promises noting that very soon about 20 editors and journalists would go to Paris for training.
Adefaye called for the upward review of membership fee adding that when there is no money, there is no association. He also urged the incoming executives to exhibit high level of professionalism while striving to make the association great.
The Chairman of the occasion, Ray Ekpu, underscored the importance of journalism in the fight against oppression. He recalled how men of the media fought spiritedly against injustice done to Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Abdulrahman Shugaba during the Second Republic even as he lamented the ‘’death’’ of Sketch newspapers calling on Governor Ajimobi to prevail on other Odua governors to ensure the resuscitation of the newspaper which he described as the best profit making government newspaper before its extinction.
The host governor, Senator Ajimobi, said,“Newspapers cannot offer us that ability to document this passing history because of their perishability. This is why converting some of those historical events into books is a great service to humanity. Such efforts should be encouraged so that posterity will be availed the opportunity of having access to some of these journalism patriarchs; great journalistic efforts and critical historical occasions that are reported in the media”.
He however, warned of a great threat to newspaper publication in Nigeria, which, he said, was the availability of same news materials on the internet.