By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan—AS Oyo State began its first two-day media summit yesterday, Governors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state and his Ekiti state counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, have called on media practitioners to pay premium to professionalism towards strengthening democracy in the country.
This was disclosed at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan venue of the information summit.
At the summit which was titled: Managing Information and Communications: The Catalyst For sustainable Development, Ajimobi said: “Our answer as a government in this maiden edition of the summit is to seek responses to the questions which often arise at every critical point of whether the media industry has been living up to its name, performing up to expected standard, or has the government also instituted a seamless and easy access to information dissemination and communication machinery for its policies?
“Obviously, we cannot answer in the affirmative. So, today, our answer is this gathering. Our answer is this maiden edition of Oyo State Council on information summit.’’
In his own comments, his counterpart from Ekiti State, Governor Fayose advised newsmen to live by example.
According to him, “The first thing I will suggest is for you to look inwards, you can only lead by example, whatever you are sending to us, whatever you are sending to the public, as people in this noble profession, you have to live it by example.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Reuben Abati relived his experience as the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan, saying, “One of the revelations I stumbled upon in the course of my four-year excursion into government is that government officials and politicians do not trust journalists.
‘’They believe journalists can be bought and that the news can be fixed if the price is right. The net effect of this is the pervasive opinion in official corridors that the public information process in Nigeria can be manipulated, and the people can be made to believe what government wants.”
The summit was well attended by media executives, media regulatory bodies, Public relations practitioners, theatre practitioners, independent broadcasters, film makers, veteran journalists, academics, students and several others.